Here are some platforms where Appropedians gather to work.

BetterMeans[edit | edit source]

Our BetterMeans workstream is for task management. The homepage lists substreams and recent activity. The dashboard is the best place to see all tasks.

The BetterMeans workstream is currently read-only, and we are looking for a new home for our task management. --16:53, 13 July 2013 (PDT)

StatusNet[edit | edit source]

Appropedia Workspace on StatusNet - this is a "microblogging" site (i.e. like Twitter) but it's our very own, and it has very useful extra features:

  • Local accounts are set to allow 300 characters per message. (This can be changed if the community wants.)
  • "Context" links allow conversations to be tracked easily.
  • Groups. These have aliases, and if you join, the posts appear in your timeline, with groups (e.g. funding, tech, service learning...).
  • You can have posts automatically feed to Twitter. You can use to post your feed (including a filtered feed option) to Twitter, Facebook, other StatusNet accounts.
  • Our posts never disappear, we can back up our data, and we can take our data elsewhere if we want. (At least that's the idea - haven't looked into the details yet --Chriswaterguy 19:26, 2 April 2011 (PDT))

This is newly set up, with only 4 registered users so far.

(Just set up, to try out - at least I'll use it for my own notes in tagged form, but I'm hoping others will also use it. --Chriswaterguy 18:03, 3 March 2011 (PST))

How to connect: You can follow users, join groups and send messages from any Identica or other StatusNet account, (and soon you may be able to follow users from Diaspora). If you use it a lot you'll probably want to set up an account directly on this site.


Right here, on the wiki![edit | edit source]

This wiki, Appropedia itself, is the most important platform, of course. You don't need to use other platforms if you don't want. Just edit, and leave notes on talk pagesW and people's user pages.W

Using Appropedia to manage your workflow, instead of external tools, provides the following advantages:

  • You only have to learn one set of commands, one markup syntax, etc., to handle all your work: editing your content (the material you want to share with Appropedia's audience of general readers), plus your meta-content (the things you do to create your content and collaborate with other Appropedia editors). Because wikis are internally consistent (we re-use the same wikitextW markupW to do many different tasks), putting all your work on one wiki platform makes it easier for you and others to comprehend what you are doing.
  • By using Appropedia for as much of your work as you can, you learn to use wikis faster. This is analogous to the cultural immersionW one experiences on going to a foreign country. The fastest way to learn a new language is to put yourself in an environment that forces you to use that language for everything. If you have the option of stepping back to your familiar language, you have less incentive to learn the new one. Using Appropedia itself to manage all your work on Appropedia will teach you how to use wiki technology to get things done.
  • Using Appropedia to write about your tasks gives you the full power of wikitext markup. You can add links,W display images,W and use templates.W You gain the protection of Appropedia's revision control.W,W Few external tools provide the same flexibility and expressive power.
  • Appropedia provides many ways for other users to monitor, search, re-use, and contribute to your work. Using external tools creates additional barriers for someone who wants to see what you did. Including you, when you come back to your work after a long absence and try to refresh your memory.
  • You or someone else may want to re-factor your meta-content into article content someday.[1] That will be easier if your meta-content is already in wikitext format.

Because of the considerable power of Appropedia to let you manage your work on Appropedia, you should only resort to an external tool when some aspect of your work management cannot be done conveniently or at all on Appropedia itself. Studying Wikipedia's internal operation can be instructive - the Wikipedia community does most of its meta-content editing on Wikipedia itself, but also uses a mix of external tools to augment tasks such as bug tracking and feature requests.

Note that every time someone introduces a new tool to the Appropedia mix, Appropedia becomes more complex and harder to learn and document. This is particularly true of tools that are themselves complex and dissimilar to Appropedia, and overlap Appropedia's functionality with different commands. Thus you should consider carefully whether another external tool is really necessary. External tools that will see little use are almost certainly not worth the bother and learning burden. To justify adding another tool, one must identify a community of users who will use it regularly. That means actually finding such people, not merely imagining they will appear.

Edit summaries[edit | edit source]

By always leaving descriptive edit summariesW when you edit on Appropedia, you can inform other users of your work. An edit with no summary is harder for other users to decode. They can only examine your diffW and try to infer the reason for your edit.

Edit summaries appear on the Special:RecentChanges page (the heartbeat of Appropedia) and in page histories.W

Edit summaries may contain wikilinks,W to guide other users to detailed documentation that helps to explain what you did. Shortcuts often make suitable link targets for edit summaries, and are easier to fit into the character limit. If your edit applies a policy or guideline, linking to the corresponding page from your edit summary makes your edit understandable to other users who may be unfamiliar with the rule you applied. Always check your edit summary links by previewing your edit before you save it. If you use a modern Web browser with a tabbed browsing feature, you can open your edit summary link in a new tab before you save it, to insure your link works. Once you save your edit, you can no longer edit your edit summary itself, so there is only one chance to get it right.

If you have created an account, you can instruct the MediaWiki software to require you to always leave an edit summary. Go to Special:Preferences, select the "Editing" tab, and check the "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" box. Doing so will help other users collaborate with you more efficiently.

User subpages[edit | edit source]

To make it even easier for other users to understand what you are doing, you can make subpagesW in your user space for taking detailed notes.[2] User subpages are usually the most appropriate place to write at length in the first person. That is, if you need to write many sentences beginning with the pronoun "I", and you are not addressing any particular person at the time, you should probably not be writing on an articleW page, but rather in your user space.

References and notes[edit | edit source]

  1. For example, your notes may contain brainstorming ideas that later form the basis for a new article.
  2. For an example of a detailed user subpage, see User:Teratornis/Tasks.
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