(Still working on this as of 16:11, 20 December 2006 (PST), please wait (maybe until tomorrow) to comment or change see #Possible names of new area and below for stuff that is ready for comments)

Current Areas[edit source]

Following are the areas and a brief overview of their purpose:

  • Topic Categories
-Categorize the content of Appropedia
-Offer some basic information on its page
-Offer some room for discussion on its corresponding Talk page.
  • Project Pages
-Show projects
-Often written in first person by the project creators

  • 'How to Pages
-Show how to's
-Usually based on projects
-Involve mulitple authors and no first person
  • Organization Pages or Categories
-Describe an organization, often from the organization's POV
-Organizations with many projects, coordinations or users on Appropedia can be promoted to a category so that pages and users can be categorized under that Organization.

  • Program Pages or Categories
-Describe a program
-Programs with many projects, coordinations or users on Appropedia can be promoted to a category so that pages and users can be categorized under that Organization.
-Can be used to coordinate program activities
  • Tool

  • Thesis

Issues (should be something else)

Most content will have the following category tags:

  • Category:Pick an area <--Usually just one area that the content fits under
  • Category:Pick a topic <--Should be atleast one topic that the content fits under. Categories in the Topic Area use this tag to become a subcategory of a greater Topic.
  • Category:Location <--Often a location can also be placed.

(this part below is ready for comments, --Lonny 16:11, 20 December 2006 (PST))

Possible names of new area[edit source]

Let's list suggestions below: --Lonny 15:05, 20 December 2006 (PST)

  1. Principles
  2. Musings
  3. Compositions
  4. Editorials
    • (presumably a category for pages that are not NPOV. CurtB)
  5. Writings
  6. Articles (this will probably get confused with the normal usage in MediaWiki of an Article being the main namespace, although we have the same problem with the Project area in which case Project is another MediaWiki name).
  7. We can wait, call the area "Other" or nothing at all, and see what content emerges that needs Area categorization.
    • Yes, we can wait a bit. I'm getting close to porting a lot of Practical Action tech briefs, many of which don't fit the project or how-to category, and they could help bias us toward a label. With that in mind I will add some more to the list...
  8. Technical briefs (or just "tech briefs")
  9. Essays
  10. Primers
  11. Backgrounders
  12. Minibooks
  13. Fundamentals
    • as in "Fundamentals of Solid State Physics" or "Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering" this is bigger than "basics", and it's what I was trying to think of when I proposed Principles. CurtB
  14. Perspectives
    • softer than editorials?
  15. Lesson plans
    • I would argue that this is a missing area (though perhaps there is a better name). This label is clearer to me than the proposed "curricula(um)" category. I couldn't tell if that was actual lesson content, or a higher level description / overview of covered topics. CurtB
  16. Concepts
    • This is my current favorite for many of the pages at the moment --CurtB 14:51, 27 December 2006 (PST)
  17. Content
    • a bit weak, since all of the pages should have content, but serves as a "catch-all"

Comments on area categorization[edit source]

There are 36 articles in Project, including under Parras, and some templates. There are 29 articles in How-to, including those under Knots, and a couple templates. There are 20+ articles in Organization, but subcategories are a bit confusing. The other areas are much smaller (I didn't check them all). Meanwhile we have 200+ articles. Presumably most don't have an area categorization?

Projects and How-tos will never be appropriate for Wikipedia. We have some content that is not yet appropriate for Wikipedia because it's not "encyclopedic" (yet?), but has a compatible article style. That's interesting content that is hard to label (as Lonny points out, "Article" is tricky as an area name.) We also have some kind of "textbook" or "lesson" content that's also interesting (I seem to recall a proposed "curriculum" area, but maybe it was for something else?). And I like the idea of a debate or discourse (softer word) area, which would might include more public policy related to technology than technology itself. Maybe we will evolve 3 or more areas. That might simplify life. Having more areas makes it less challenging to find a single bucket that fits all unbucketed content. But it may take longer for the category definitions to develop (naming is actually secondary to the definition, IMHO). That's okay by me.

I'm concerned that this may seem like fruitless wrestling, or that my tone may seem argumentative. In fact, I'm quite excited about the foundations firming up here at Appropedia. The process may take a few weeks, but we do have a bit of a history of coming to closure, within a few short weeks, on things that we address intently. --CurtB 17:43, 20 December 2006 (PST)

Additional thoughts on Areas[edit source]

I think there is value in articulating why we even want to have area categorization. That is, what is value we're trying to deliver by bucketing pages into area categories? And who are the beneficiaries? Contributors? Readers? Admins?

Another useful set of questions might be, who is the audience for each area? What questions are answered by pages in different area sections? That leads to, who are the various "consumers" of Appropedia content? (Danger, danger! "mission/vision" nudge detection circuits are activating!) I can think of several, (of course).

  • Village locals who are considering where they could best benefit (does this group have connectivity?)
  • Project leaders who are preparing to assess/deliver a project
  • Volunteers who are trying to find work that matches their skills
  • Funders
  • Experts looking to add info

Moved from /Draft of metatopic structure

Sample table of category structure[edit source]

Here is a table that talks about category framework a bit more, based on extensive exchanges Lonny and I have had via email. Since this is a structure comment, I'm not sweating the plural/singular decisions here.

cells below contain category pages cells below (under the headings) contain article pages
Cat:Topic(s)are below /// Areas are to the right Cat:Projects Cat:How tos Cat:Principles (?) Cat:Organizations
Cat:Water Cat:Rainwater
Cat:Swales Portland example (empty) Beyond dams article Bob's swales
Ersson project Catchment how-to Beyond dams article Rain Harvest Association
Cat: Greywater Cat:Garden box (empty) Grey box how-to (empty)

In the table above, I propose the "Principles" area name for articles that are not quite Projects or How-tos. "Basics" seems too constraining, "Musings" seems too glib or lightweight for me. The need for this area category is not entirely clear yet, but if someone wants to see the list of such articles, it would be good to look here. We have several examples of such articles, like many from "Beyond Dams", as well as the "Power and energy basics" article. --CurtB 11:04, 20 December 2006 (PST) (sig line added by Lonny to break up conversation)

Power and energy basics seems more like it could be in a new area, such as Category:Lecture notes, could be Lonny's power and energy basics or Engr305 power and energy basics.
I based "Musings" on the following definition "to comment thoughtfully or ruminate upon."[1], and the incredible and very carefully worded Tech Musings of Don Lancaster (did I mention incredible). The "s" is used to signify the usage (and definitin) as a noun. But I hear what you are saying. I think that we should continue looking for the right name(s) for the area(s). Let's move this conversation to Category_talk:Topic/Draft_of_areas. --Lonny 15:05, 20 December 2006 (PST)
Yes, my feelings about "Musings" were not well expressed. "Glib and lightweight" was inappropriate (though actually it does have that sense for me, not sure why), perhaps "unstructured" is a little closer to the target, though I have seen "musings" that were pretty formal. I did notice that the definition you reference was the fourth ranked definition, so presumably I'm being influenced by the other usages. In the end, though, the label could work (as well as any other), and we can describe somewhere (policy? help:categories?) what we intend for the new (as well as existing) area category to remove ambiguities due to name choice. --CurtB 17:43, 20 December 2006 (PST)
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