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==Searchable volunteer project data?==
==Searchable volunteer project data?==
Revision as of 07:52, 10 March 2008
I agree that the welcome book article titles are pretty unwieldy the way I did them. I just want to make sure they are unique tokens and avoid ambiguity within the scope of the wiki. Thinking about a way to deal with both of those things at once.
Regarding the idea of using welcome book text as seed content for articles... Is the important thing the specific information in the welcome books, or just that there be seed content? Because I'm putting a lot of original content in for Albania for specifically that purpose. Hajenso 00:52, 10 March 2008 (PDT)
Searchable volunteer project data?
Hey Will, I've been thinking that maybe one of the most useful applications of the wiki will be if we can store detailed data on volunteer projects in an easily searchable way. This would be maybe one of the most genuinely institutional-memory-y things the wiki could do. It would help volunteers avoid reinventing the wheel and make project and volunteer continuity in a site a lot more convenient. It would be fantastic if someday 10 years down the road a volunteer who is planning, say, a teacher training, could look on the wiki and see that a previous volunteer did something similar in the same site, and get a detailed description of the entire process that the previous volunteer went through and who they talked to, where they got money from, etc.
This brings up a possible legal/public relations issue - is there a problem with putting the names of people we work with in our sites on the wiki, since all wiki pages are visible to any internet user? There is a definite benefit to putting names in, since those will be specifically useful to future volunteers. For this reason I think it will be eventually a good idea to have a system of selective access for some pages, so volunteers can frankly discuss the difficulties and conflicts they have dealt with (provided it is always with a view to furthering their work, not just bitching), without risking damaged relationships when a host-country national (or even a staff member) sees that discussion.
Just offhand it seems like the easiest way to make projects searchable in the way users are mostly likely to search is by tagging project pages: "Armenia", "2007", "English teacher conferences", etc. Maybe the semantic wiki feature you described, combined with the existing category tagging system, would suffice for this.
Hajenso 10:38, 9 March 2008 (PDT)
- About category name capitalization - I meant that proper names would be capitalized, just not other words. So for instance "The adventures of John Bloom in Pakistan while trying to buy ketchup" would be in compliance.
- I hope you don't mind if I delete some of the articles you created for Albania, just for the sake of consistency of name and content style. Sorry! I'm in the process right now of putting the Albania welcome book back up in modular form and in keeping with the stylistic conventions I described in my previous comment to you.
- The main trouble I'm having with templates is that I can't change their basic content, it seems to be hard-coded. Is there any way I can get access to that end of things? For instance, the ability to change the volunteer infobox code so that the word "Primary-Site" links to category "Sites" instead of "Site".
- Just saw your latest comment about semantic searches. I think I'm okay doing things the way I have been, because for instance, whenever users get the ability to search for the intersection of category "Albania" and category "Sites", I could just remove the category "Albania sites" with no problem, because each member of that category will already also be a member of "Albania" and "Sites". Am I understanding what you meant?
Hajenso 11:47, 8 March 2008 (PST)
I'd rather keep the content from official sources separate from user-contributed content, but I understand your point about keeping it available in wiki form. I pulled up the version of the Albania page from before my edits and copied out the text from the welcome book and modularized it, one article for each top-level heading. See what you think.
I'd also rather avoid merging pages with their corresponding categories UNLESS there is nothing substantial to be said on the page in question. For example "Albania" should be separate from "Category:Albania".
Just for stylistic consistency, I suggest keeping category names plural when each category member is an instance of that category rather that just related to it (for example, a member of category "Albania" isn't "an Albania", thus the singular, but a member of category "Albania sites" is "an Albania site", thus the plural). By the same logic I suggest renaming category "Volunteer" to "Volunteers", etc. Capitalize only the first letter of the category name and proper names. I just think it looks better and avoids inconsistent capitalization. Maybe other users would disagree.
Thanks for the templates, I'll go check them out. Hajenso 11:03, 8 March 2008 (PST)