Appropedia is a wiki to document personal and organizational experiences and ideas to solve planetary issues. This page outlines some key aspects of what Appropedia does in this regard, and how we differ from other platforms.

Appropedia is not Wikipedia[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Appropedia is a broader kind of resource that welcomes many different kinds of content, not just encyclopedic. For example original research, project write-ups, essays, how-tos, literature reviews and more.

Appropedia complements and cooperates with Wikipedia, rather than compete with it. We also share a similar set of values. We're ultimately concerned about our planet and the welfare of humanity, rather than being the "best" at something. We don't copy entire Wikipedia articles here, instead we link to them using Template:Wikipedia excerpt or the "External links" section. Appropedia wants Wikipedia to be successful and to have great resources on the topics we focus on. Many people will go to Wikipedia to search for information on these topics and we want them to find good information.

The focus here is different from Wikipedia. If a page develops here that meets all of Wikipedia's criteria, that's excellent, but it's also okay if some detailed information from Wikipedia doesn't get repeated here, especially if it's not quite our focus. For example, we're very interested in the ideas and designs of E. F. Schumacher, but not nearly as interested in his exact birth date, middle names or minor biographical details.

The differences in content, focus and policies between Wikipedia and Appropedia stem from a difference in their vision: while Wikipedia's vision is all knowledge for all people, Appropedia's vision is quite different: we aim to facilitate rich, sustainable lives.

Appropedia also differs from Wikipedia on some technical matters:

  • Appropedia conventions are sometimes different from Wikipedia, so be sure to read our guidelines on page naming, content, editing, etc.
  • While both use MediaWiki as its wiki software, Appropedia has several extensions enabled that Wikipedia doesn't, and viceversa. Most notably, Appropedia uses Semantic MediaWiki for handling structured data, while Wikipedia has Wikidata.
  • Appropedia is a single wiki with content in many languages, while Wikipedia is actually many wikis, one for each language.

Appropedia also cooperates with Wikimedia Commons. We encourage our community to upload photo, audio or video archives to one of the largest repositories of media in the world. We benefit from following their guidelines, working with their community and adhering to their quality standards, and in return, we are contributing material that relates the subjects Appropedians are interested in.

Appropedia also cooperates with Wikibooks. Appropedia members can for example improve certain Wikibooks that are useful for projects related to appropriate technology, and extract usable information for Appropedia articles (copying between the wikis requires Attribution, of course).

Appropedia also cooperates with Wikiversity. Appropedia members can for example make (worked out) suggestions here regarding the production of new appropriate technology. In addition, course material can be demanded here for use in education-related appropriate technology projects. Appropedia links are also welcomed at Wikiversity, so relevant links to high quality Appropedia pages should be added.

Appropedia is not an encyclopedia[edit | edit source]

Appropedia welcomes original research and practices from around the world. For this reason, we don't call ourselves an encyclopedia. Encyclopedic content is information which is notable, not original. It relies on published secondary sources instead of original research. Significant amounts of encyclopedic content should not be included in Appropedia articles, and instead should be referenced at the appropriate page in Wikipedia (using Template:W or the "External links" section). However, it is quite acceptable to include small amounts (2 or 3 sentences) of encyclopedic content if it adds to the readability of an Appropedia article.

Encyclopedic material is sometimes suitable for Appropedia:

  • When such content doesn't exist and is unlikely to ever exist on Wikipedia.
  • When original research is developed here that may initially not be suitable to Wikipedia due to lack of sources but it improves its encyclopedic quality, thanks to other editors adding sources and making other improvements. In this case the community can opt transwikiing it to Wikipedia.
  • When Wikipedia's information which is relevant to Appropedia's focus is buried within other information and misses its original purpose, then it may be useful to summarize the encyclopedic information as well as linking to the article (especially for literature reviews). If verbatim slabs of text are taken from Wikipedia, the original article must be credited. Use the {{Attrib wikipedia}} template.
  • When it is likely that a person coming to the page may not understand the topic, then a brief description is useful. If a Wikipedia article exists, we encourage linking to the article. See Wikipedia's guidelines for the lead section of an article.

Appropedia is not a soapbox[edit | edit source]

If you have a strong agenda (other than simply believing that sustainability and development are good things) and are not willing to respect a neutral point of view, then a blog, a personal website or a campaign or issues oriented wiki (such as The Campaigns Wikia or Issuepedia) may be more suitable for you.

Appropedia is not a social media platform[edit | edit source]

For Wikipedia, socializing may be a side-benefit, but it's frowned upon if people start networking for reasons not directly related to developing Wikipedia.

Appropedia on the other hand has networking as a secondary goal (sharing of knowledge being our primary goal). Rather than "developing Appropedia" being the only allowable goal of networking, we encourage any networking that helps us to develop humanity and protect the planet that we rely on, regardless of whether it directly benefits Appropedia.

Please feel free to network and socialize, using user boxes and user searches to connect with people who have similar interests and passions. See Appropedia:Networking for more details on how to do this.

Appropedia is not a place for aggressive marketing[edit | edit source]

Appropedia is not for promoting your band - unless perhaps it is a band promoting sustainability and justice, playing with a carbon neutral footprint or the like. It's great if you network here, but the wiki software is a bit limited in that regard.

While Appropedia is meant to host original content and research, we expect it to be relevant to our vision and mission statements. This means that it is not meant for promoting your band, unless you want to document information about a band promoting sustainability and justice, playing with a carbon neutral footprint or the like. You're encouraged to let people know about your sustainable business, on your user page and where you have reason to think they might be interested, but please don't market aggressively and don't spam. We're here to enable and empower ourselves and each other, so please put time into sharing your information and wisdom, and helping others, as well as promoting your own particular group/company/cause.

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