Archive:Community Pages

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This page is now archived.

It was used in moving our older community pages system to the one organized by CZ:Home.

Community page types

Here is a list of sets of community pages:

  1. Getting Started [gs] {{Getting Started}}
  2. Technical Help [th] {{Technical Help}}
  3. Content Policy [cp] {{Content Policy}}
  4. Article Lists [al] {{Article Lists}}
  5. Organization [or] {{Organization}}
  6. Initiatives [in] {{Initiatives}}
  7. Communication [cm] {{Communication}}
  8. Editor Pages [ed] {{Editor Pages}}
  9. Editorial Council [ec] {{Editorial Council}}
  10. Constabulary [co] {{Constabulary}}

Hey you! Yeah, you! If you want, you can get a start on the new CZ project homepage, CZ:Home. See below for some guidance, but the basic assignment is this: make it simple and inviting for new people and old hands, alike. Include the main (but not all) links from the above community page types. Maybe (this is just an idea) have a separate "widget" (fancy table cell) for each community page type...you might add a picture... --LMS

Q & A about community pages

This is a "placeholder page" for what will eventually be a policy page about CZ community pages. By "community pages" we mean everything in CZ: and Help:.

  • Who are these pages for, and what is their purpose?

The pages are for (1) new people, who need both motivation and simple explanation; (2) regular contributors, who need clear, easy-to-find answers to help and policy questions; and (3) decision-makers, who need clearly-stated rules that they can proceed to interpret.

So the pages have basically two purposes: they motivate people to work; they explain policy at basic and in-depth levels. But policy explanations have at least two purposes: to get instructions for new content, and to make decisions about matters of controversy over existing content. (The latter distinction is similar to the help booklets released by government agencies that simplify the laws "on the books.")

  • Should there be a distinction between "help" or "instructions" on the one hand, and policy statements on the other hand? How can this distinction best be drawn both in theory (what is the difference) and in practice (how do we distinguish the pages)?

I'm not at all convinced that there should be a difference. The central problem (for both Wikipedia and CZ) about managing policy and help pages is that people write as if there is a difference--as if the rules were like Statute Law, and the help pages were those little citizen booklets--when there isn't any practical difference. Ultimately, the analogy to statute law is terrible, because "the people" carry out the rules on a wiki. So the rules really should be written clearly and engagingly everywhere, and as such, there is no need for repetition.

So I propose that we have exactly one set of rules and instructions, and that the rules should be written more or less in the form of instructions. If there need to be boring details, the boring details can go in footnotes or on separate pages.

  • What are the best ways to achieve that purpose? What are some common tips, "best practices," etc.?
    • Generally, think of the convenience of the contributor first and foremost.
    • Few mouseclicks to the most popular information.
    • Highlight (place higher, using larger font, etc.) the most popular information.
    • A "logical," or "clear," or "common-sensical" sort of organization. Information should be where most people would expect it to be.
    • Be highly modular, but have a kick-ass table of contents and navigation tools. There is certainly some benefit to having "extended narratives," but not enough to put off the people who don't want to read all that in one sitting.
    • Have extremely clear titles, but supplement them with brief but helpful subtitles that are placed/formatted so that they don't get in the way.
    • Have a "start here" page. Don't overwhelm people with data on that page. Let them choose what they want to find out about. Have just one brief introductory narrative, that is focused mostly on motivation, but also provides a few choice links to the most popular info.
    • Consider not using tables of contents. This implies: "too much information!"
    • Use pictures and columns to organize long lists of content.
    • Have a form that people can click use create a new page:
      Type title: [_________] {start article}
    • Start an informal workgroup, self-selecting, for maintaining the community pages.
  • Should the pages all be in the CZ: namespace, or should some go in the Help: namespace?

Move everything to the CZ: namespace. We could put technical explanations in the Help: namespace, but there is no clear distinction to be made between "technical" issues and "policy" issues. Just get rid of "Help:" altogether (move it, of course).

  • We've said we want to have a minimal rule set. Is this really advisable? Why or why not? How can we describe the "minimum" adequate set of rules?

Given a remark above, this becomes less of a pressing issue. If we focus on making policies readable, and more like clear instructions than rules, then we'll just shunt the boring details off elsewhere. They'll still be there. Generally, you shunt off the ones that are, indeed, boring.

There are many rules that probably aren't necessary at all. They can be pruned. How do we know which ones these are? Basically, if they never come up--if you forgot that there was such a rule. (No one will miss it if I prune it, either, though I'll make a list.)

  • What is the overall structure of the pages?

Seems like a hard question. OK, first thing: we're going to move the Notice Board to the top of a revamped community home page, which becomes, actually, something that people want to visit on a regular basis. We'll also encourage people to bookmark the community home page. The front page is going to have even less for contributors--just a button that says (something like) "Start Here" or "Community Home" or "Get Started". We could call it CZ:Community, instead of CZ:Project Home. But we could also call it CZ:Home.

OK, then the question is: what is linked-to from CZ:Home? CZ:Project Home is awful, because it tries to link to everything, all in one long column. We really do need to make it more modular. The idea is that we have several policy "departments," like what we have on CZ:Editorial Council: article policy; editorial; constabulary; etc. For each policy department, we'll have a "widget" on CZ:Home, with one main link for the department home page, and then three more of the most (apparently) common links, and finally <more> which takes you to a complete alphabetical list of all the articles in the department. So I'm thinking we should have a big "get started" department and it should be at the top of CZ:Home.

  • Should we have categories or templates for navigation?

Yes, on every single community page, there is a navigation template for the "policy department" at the bottom of the page. The navigation template includes a category as well as a "more" link that links to this category page.

Note, I don't want to put policy pages on subpages of main pages. I want to make use of templates and categories for purposes of organizing related material.

  • What's the maximum amount of information that should go on a page? What's the "right size" for a page?

I'm going to stipulate that more than three screenfuls is too much. This is pretty arbitrary, but it seems about right. More than that much information, and a section should be moved elsewhere.

  • What are some basic requirements of clear exposition of rules and help pages?
    • Explain jargon.
    • Use headers and paragraph "titles" liberally.
    • Use simple language and short words.
  • What are the next steps, then?
  1. Move this page to CZ:Community Pages. That will be our "meta-page" of information about the community pages.
  2. Produce a list of "policy departments."
  3. Break apart CZ:Policy Outline into separate pages.
  4. Tag (with categories) existing pages. Make sure you use templates (that contain just a category, for now) to do this.
  5. Invite people to help design CZ:Home and design or redesign the homepages of the various departments.
  6. Start rewriting (and writing). Begin with the editor pages--a getting-started page and a how-to-do-your-job page.

List of things to organize

Introductory and getting-started

  • Join us [gs] Not written
  • Author registration page [gs] Not imported yet
  • About CZ [gs] Not imported yet
  • FAQ [gs] Not imported yet
  • How to get started as an author [gs]
  • Intro to CZ for WPians [gs] [cp]

Start going through this list here...

Help/how to

  • "Help" (the page) [to delete?] Delete or rewrite
  • How to start a new article (transcluded in the latter) [cp]
  • How to edit an article (technical) [th]
  • Article Mechanics (style) [cp]
  • How to use talk pages [cm]
  • Images help [cp]
  • Citation style [cp]
  • Searching [th]
  • Formatting math [ac or math workgroup?]
  • WP-related [cp]
    • How to convert Wikipedia articles to Citizendium articles [cp]
    • Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians [cp] [gs]
    • We aren't Wikipedia [cp]

Policy

  • Statement of Fundamental Policies [or]
  • Charter [or] Not written yet
  • Author policy [or]?
    • Author registration policy [gs]
    • Author User Pages [gs]
  • Editor policy [ed]
    • Editor registration policy [ed] [gs]
    • Categories of Editorship [ed]
    • Decisionmaking and Dispute Resolution regarding Articles [ed]
    • Article Approval (and see the separate page about this) [ed]
    • Editorial Council (see also under Organization) [ec]
    • "Editorial Workgroups" [or] [ed]?
      • Chief Subject Editors [ed]
  • Constabulary [co]
    • The Role of Constables [co]
    • The Selection of Constables [co]
    • Policies and Procedures for Constables [co]
      • Application Review Procedure [co]
      • Constabulary Blocking Procedures [co]
      • Article Deletion Policy [co] [ed]
    • Checks on Constables [co]
  • Topic Informants [ed]
    • Policy on Topic Informants [ed]
    • Category:Topic Informant Workgroup [ed]
  • Article policy [cp]
    • Article Naming and Topic Choice [cp]
    • Article Standards (and various subpages) [cp]
    • Stubs [cp]
    • The Article Discussion Page [co]
    • The Article Checklist [cp] [th]?
    • Article Deletion Policy [ed] [co]
    • Image policy (see "Images help") [cp]
  • Behavioral standards [co]
    • Standards of Professionalism [co]
    • Conflict Resolution [co] [ed] [or]?
    • The Appeals Process [co] [ed]
  • Suggestion boxes
    • Editorial Council's [ec]
    • Editor-in-Chief's [ed]? Maybe shouldn't be included?

Organization

  • Project home [or]
  • Personnel [or]
  • Donate [or]
  • Workgroups [or]
  • Communicate [co] [or]?
  • Friends of Citizendium [co]? [or]?
  • Constabulary Home [co] [or]?
  • Editorial Council Home [ec] [or]?
  • Topic Informant Workgroup [ed]? [cp]??
  • Recruitment and Admission [or]
    • Recruitment Letter [or]
    • Mailing List Outreach [or]
    • Blog Outreach (delete?) [or]
    • Professional Organization Outreach [or]

Initiatives

  • Weekly Wiki [in]
  • New Article of the Week [in]
  • Article of the Week [in]
  • Monthly Write-a-Thon [in]
  • Eduzendium [in]
  • Subpage Pilot [delete from list of initiatives]
  • Topic Partners [or]?
  • The Big Cleanup [in]
  • The Big Speedydelete [in]
  • How you can help [in]

Article lists

  • Live articles [li]
  • Approved articles [li]
  • Article of the Week [li] [in]?
  • New Article of the Week [li] [in]?
  • Random page [li] cannot add template to this
  • Feedback Requests [li]
  • Requested Articles [li]
  • Approval Announcements [li]

Communication

  • "Communicate" page [cm]
  • How to use talk pages [cm]
  • Notice Board [cm] - but probably will be deleted replaced with CZ:Home
  • Blog [cm]
  • Forums [cm]
  • Mailing lists [cm]
    • Citizendium-L
    • Citizendium-Editors
  • Summaries of policy arguments [cm]
  • Questions board on forums [cm]
  • "Contact" page [cm] [or]

Tools

  • Recent changes [or]
  • Special pages [th]
  • Checklist [th]
  • Subpage template [th]
  • Template list (to create!) [th] To create
  • Templates [th]

Miscellaneous

  • Archived pages [or]

About Citizendium policy

Policy writers

For now, it's fine to do light copyediting of policy pages, without consulting anyone, as long as you don't change the meaning. You can also help organize, prettify, and otherwise improve these pages, as long as you don't change the policy itself. The Editorial Council writes or at least is responsible for approving policy about editorial and content matters, broadly speaking; the Constabulary writes policy about the Constabulary and behavioral matters, broadly speaking. New policy can be drafted by anyone, although its approval is another matter. The Editor-in-Chief and occasionally others will rewrite some policy so that it reflects current practice; if the matter is important, the edits are announced to the relevant bodies.

Statement of Fundamental Policies takes precedence, and is "non-negotiable"

The Statement of Fundamental Policies will be regarded as the supreme policy of the project prior to the adoption of the Citizendium Charter. The Statement itself defines certain fundamental conditions on the adoption of the Charter. A draft Charter is or will be under development at CZ:Draft Charter.

The Citizendium Statement of Fundamental Policies clarifies which policies are to be regarded as "non-negotiable." These policies may be refined, explained, and justified, but they will not be defended per se, and those who reject them, and particularly those inclined to work against them, will be asked to find another project to support.

The purposes of articulating non-negotiable policies are: (1) the Statement gives a much-needed definition and focused purpose to a project that otherwise might drift aimlessly and accomplish little; (2) in an open, volunteer community, the statement allows persons to identify whether their own participation is appropriate.