This is a suggested approach to improving and maintaining the quality of topic information on Appropedia. It is not fixed in stone - discuss on the talk page if you have ideas or suggestions, whether for expanding it or abandoning it.

Topic Experts[edit | edit source]

Becoming a topic expert[edit | edit source]

Do you have expertise? Please consider applying to be a topic expert on the discussion tab above. Feel free to request a new or existing topic category and see Category:Topics needing experts.

Hi all,

Firstly thank you all for maintaining this forum. I have actually learnt a lot from it over the last few months, finally decided to join.

Hopefully I wil be able to give back to members as much as I have gained.

User boxes and tracking changes[edit | edit source]

Using {{User topicadmin}} places a userbox on your page. E.g. the moderator for the "Water" uses the text {{User topicadmin|Water}}.

You can also add a link to the "related changes" for that category (see link in left column). See Chriswaterguy's page for an example. Or perhaps bookmark the "related changes" page. Be aware, however, that the Related changes link only shows pages directly related to that category, and not, for example, pages in a subcategory.

Related Links[edit | edit source]

Discussion[View | Edit]

Topic Moderator Discussion[edit source]

The idea behind having and showing topic category moderators is:

  1. bring higher credibility to Appropedia
  2. bring more experts to Appropedia through incorporation
  3. maintain and encourage quality

The topic experts page should have guidelines on:

  1. the responsibilities of the topic expert
  2. how to become a topic expert (e.g. description
  3. how the topic expert is replaced (e.g. after no reply in one month)

This would be better if it:

  1. could be administered not in the wiki text
  2. would show up below articles and subcategories
these changes will probably take a progammer

Currently I am the moderator for many topic categories. I have in mind a few experts for some of the topic categories, such as adobe and cobb. Are there any offers, e.g. Singkong2005 for Category:Open source?

What do you think? --Lonny 22:20, 14 October 2006 (PDT)

Looks good. Good suggestions, though I'm not able to put time into developing them right now.
I've put myself down for two topics. Re Category:Open source, I think Category:Information and communication technology is the one to look at (as it covers all the open source articles, at present). I'm sure there are others who are much more familiar with the topic than I am... I have taken an interest and some initiative with the Low cost computer guide, but I'm far from an expert. Are their other volunteers? (User:Curtbeckmann? Aaron? Only if there are no other takers, I would accept it as a temporary role. --Singkong2005 · talk 08:42, 15 October 2006 (PDT)
Thanks for the feedback, let's see if there are any other volunteers on this. --Lonny 11:55, 15 October 2006 (PDT)

Administrators[edit source]

Administrators can approve any topic expert, including themselves.

  • What do you think about this policy? I think that it encourages growth, and is still conservative since, ostensibly, the adminstrators have already been approved for their expertise. --Lonny 08:46, 24 October 2006 (PDT)
    • Should be fine I think, where there is no "topic expert" already, but we may need to develop the policy slightly as Appropedia grows. It's conceivable (likely, even) that we will be dealing with enthusiastic and well-intentioned but misguided individuals in the future, pushing such "solutions" as cars that run on water and other "free energy" ideas (unwittingly supporting false ideas). Though hopefully we would have spotted such problems before their adminship. There's also the question of having more than one topic expert. I don't see a problem with this - in the unlikely case of conflict, they would need to reach consensus, with or without the help of the community of editors). Anyway, at some stage a policy might be needed, but I don't expect it would be more than a couple of paragraphs. --Singkong2005 · talk 22:25, 14 November 2006 (PST)

Apply to be a topic moderator[edit source]

Thank you for your interest. Place your username and requested topic category here. The admininistrators will consider your request and direct you to further action.

Discussion[edit source]

I notice several topic experts on the Category:Topics page that do not appear on this Appropedia talk:Topic experts page. Is that intentional somehow, or merely a maintenance thing? Happy to chip in from a maintenance perspective... We could "semi-automate" by creating a Topic experts category? --CurtB 16:54, 7 December 2006 (PST)
See the new Category:Topic admins. Is that what you meant?
I assume the idea that all categories would eventually have topic experts. Some subcats could have different experts, from the parent cat - making things more manageable by sharing the load (as Lonny now manages Greywater, whereas I'm managing Water). --Singkong2005 · talk 02:51, 13 December 2006 (PST)
Chris, Thanks for making this category and assumption. I agree that eventually most topic categories will have a topic moderator. It is possible that the metatopic moderator will moderate those moderators of subordinate topics...but we can work on that as it comes. --Lonny 01:59, 18 December 2006 (PST)

Name: moderator, topic expert, or topic admin?[edit source]

The terms moderator, topic expert, topic admin are used in different places - I think it would be clearer if we picked one term as the standard, and moved pages, cats and templates to reflect this choice.

I'm not keen on topic expert - it might be true in a sense, but it's more about managing input from many people (some of whom may be experts themselves). Moderator sounds good to me. --Singkong2005 · talk 02:48, 13 December 2006 (PST)

Let's go with Topic moderator. --Lonny 01:48, 18 December 2006 (PST)
It would appear that the Category:Topic admin will need a name change... but before that happens, I want to ask a question. Do the admin/moderators need Sysop priveleges to do their jobs? If yes, then perhaps "topic admin" is the better label. If not, then I prefer "moderator." I just wanted to comment before renaming the category. Offhand, I suspect that they do not need these priveleges, because it seems that currently there are a few moderators who are not themselves Admins. --CurtB 07:28, 18 December 2006 (PST)
Good question - I think you're right, adminship isn't essential for this role.
Another thought: Someone could be a moderator for, say, an organization's category (e.g. Category:Engineers Without Borders Australia), or for a category of projects (e.g. Category:Parras). Thus I think moderator would be better. Also simpler. --Chriswaterguy · talk 20:15, 7 February 2007 (PST)
I am still for moderator, and I like the idea of category moderators. --Lonny 01:07, 8 February 2007 (PST)

How effective?[edit source]

I wonder what impact this has?

  1. When people have signed up as moderators, has it made them more likely to monitor those pages? I don't feel that it has for me, to be honest.
  2. Does it make the pages feel "owned," i.e. are visitors less likely to feel free to edit a page with someone's name on it?
  3. Does the system take energy to maintain that could be directed in other ways?

I'm leaning towards finding other ways to engage contributors and maintain quality. --Chriswaterguy 16:58, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

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