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Appropedia:Networking

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This is a proposed Appropedia guideline. You can edit it, or discuss it on the talk page or at the Appropedia policy discussion page.
For now, this should be considered an essay by one or more Appropedians, and not as a policy or guideline.


At Appropedia (unlike Wikipedia), we have networking as one of our goals. (Sharing of knowledge and collaboration in various forms are our primary goals, and networking can help us achieve those goals). Appropedia encourages any networking that helps us to develop humanity and protect the planet that we rely on, regardless of whether it directly benefits Appropedia.

So, please network and socialize.

Social networking features[edit]

You're encouraged to:

  • describe yourself on your web page,
  • use userboxes to describe yourself and help people find you if they have similar interests,
  • search the user pages.
    • To do this, use the Search button instead of the Go button. This searches pages including user pages.[1]
    • It's also easy to find people who actively edit in your area of interest, by looking at the relevant topic page - see what articles are in the category, and use the history tab to see who has contributed.

Please note! Some people might like to chat. Other people might be more focused on their project or their editing. Please don't take it personally if someone doesn't respond the way you were hoping.

Social networking features for Appropedia[edit]

At the moment our "social networking"W ability is limited. This may be a good or a bad thing (or, more likely, a bit of each). We will start by seeing what we can do with the current software, but also think hard about whether we want to add these extra features:

  • Rating systems for people. It may be thought that a rating system has benefits, in seeing who is respected. However, the philosophy of "assuming good faith" as is encouraged in comunities like Wikipedia, and taking people as they come, may also encourage more civil behavior, while reducing "status anxiety."
  • Rating systems for content, as used by OAN. This can tell us what's popular. This is probably a more useful tool, which we should consider in future.
    • Appropedia has the Most viewed pages section of Special:Statistics, which lists the 10 most viewed pages. A fairly blunt tool.
    • We are looking at setting up a panel of experts to rate certain pages - particularly focusing on rating "high impact" pages which highlight the most important things that people should be doing to solve the big problems of sustainability and poverty.
  • "Friend" feature. For a start, let's just assume we're all friends. But if you want to keep track of specific people, remember that you can easily find anyone who has left you a message by checking your talk page (if it's been deleted, check the history page). You can also list links to their pages from your own user page, talk page or a subpage.
  • Sub-networks or groups:
    • Collaborative pages, in the style of Wikiprojects on Wikipedia. They can be focused on a task in Appropedia, or on a practical project, or research, or just networking...
    • It's possible to set up a mailing list (on Google Groups or Yahoo! Groups, and link this from a group page.
    • Newsletters can be mailed to subscribers, using (for example) the Wikipedia Signpost as a model. A subscription page, jokingly called a "spamlist," is used where anyone can add their username, and a bot uses this list to distribute the newsletter. Alternatively, subscribers can add a a template box to their user or talk page, which updates automatically - see Wikipedia:Template:Signpost-subscription.
  • Forum: having this within the Appropedia domain, esp within the wiki, would be a much easier way for people to engage. (Also note that close partnerships with forum & networking sites haven't happened yet - at least not in terms of having ways to connect the sites. GlobalSwadeshi.net is closely aligned, but there are no tools to connect the sites at this point.)

WordPress[edit]

The Mingle extension (early development?) offers SN features, and we could integrate it with the Appropedia blog.

WordPress will also soon (when?) have multi-user capability in the standard version, so we could easily have a community blog (now at http://community.livejournal.com/appropedia/ ) on our own domain, that would be much nicer to use and look at than the blog options within MediaWiki.

Sites and platforms combining social networking with wikis[edit]

We may not want to use these platforms, as a robust knowledge-oriented wiki is essential to Appropedia. However these may give an idea of what is possible.

Integrated systems[edit]

  • Wagn (GOSS platform) - in early stages. Incorporates semantic features and a flexible structure. A central idea is that every element is a "card" and different kinds of cards can be made.
  • Wetpaint (wiki farm).
  • Wikia has social networking features through extensions to its MediaWiki platform: some are already open-sourced, others seem to be in testing stages and perhaps not released yet. See Free software and social networking; and at Wikia:Halo, click community on the left navbar. Note the new links on profiles.

Connected systems[edit]

(Connected systems may not be the technical term.) These have a navigation bar at the top giving easy navigation between the wiki and other functions, which may or may not be on the same domain. These examples are not as polished as dedicated networking sites like Ning sites or Facebook, but both these sites have a list of spaces across the top - e.g. OpenFSM has these links:

Summary Wiki Blog Mailing Lists Tasks Team Contents Join Project

Having a cross-login between the sites or sub-sites clearly is extremely valuable to integrating the project.

Connected wiki-plus sites/systems include:

Desired features[edit]

  • Ratings for content.
  • Creating personal networks -
    • Perhaps like the "friend" feature of other SN sites.
      • What are the advantages? Sharing of more personal information, only with friends... (this is arguably not something we want to encourage on Appropedia).
      • Should we allow this to be turned off for individuals? (I would like to regard everyone on the site as a "friend" and don't like sites that ask me to approve friend requests. --Chriswaterguy · talk)
      • Or partner networks?
    • Perhaps like the "subwikis" of Solaroof wiki or the "webs" of twiki
  • Recent changes list for certain sub-communities or topics. Note this can be done manually by creating a page of links and using the "Related changes", near bottom of sidebar. However, a more elegant tool is desirable, that (for example) can combine all recent changes to pages in a number of categories, and their talk pages. Can we do something with Feedburner? (The problem with collating the RSS/Atom feeds using a reader is that the headers don't give the desired information, when collated.)

Proposed features and steps to take[edit]

Software options[edit]

Appropedia has the option of adding Adding software (e.g. Drupal),

  • Explore newer wiki functionality:

See Wikitravel, and ArmchairGM (the latter uses MediaWiki extensions developed by Wikia).

We could try to integrate our social networking with other sites that have these features - this still faces the problem of integrating different software platforms.


Organizations[edit]

Organizations can have their own pages and categories. Their categories should be categorized with other likeminded organizations, according to their major focus. Please don't put organizations into too many categories as this clutters the categories and makes them less useful. If an organization has many areas of focus, operating through various divisions/departments/sub-groups, then pages can be made for a particular divisions, and the divisions' pages put into the appropriate, more specific category.

As an example, it is hoped that many climate change action groups will put their information on Appropedia, or even use their Appropedia pages as their main website. Such groups should belong to Category:Climate change action groups, and members of the groups are strongly encouraged to add an appropriate userbox to their user page.

Notes[edit]

  1. To search only user pages, when the result comes up, select User at the bottom (and User talk to get more hits) and deselect other options, then search again. We will work on making a simpler method. (Can we make a search box which searches for a SEARCHTERM using http://www.appropedia.org/Special:Search?ns2=1&ns3=1&search=SEARCHTERM&searchx=Search ?)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • NetSquared, a project of TechSoup.org, which aims to "spur responsible adoption of social web tools by social benefit organizations."