CZ:How you can help
Want to help, but don't know quite what to do?
You've come to the right place. Here is a list of general tasks that "worker bees" can help with.
Work on articles
- Start a new article.
- If you are committed to improving it considerably here, import a Wikipedia article.
- Scan recent changes and see what others are working on. Help them out.
- Go to the CZ:Workgroups, click through to the article lists in areas you're interested in, and pitch in.
- Write a requested article.
- Hit random page. Edit or expand things as you see them.
Remember, be bold, it's the only way anything gets done in a successful wiki project!
- The Big Cleanup cleans up, tags, formats, etc., our articles--hugely useful and beneficial!
More specialized content tasks
These are tasks that will help build up and improve our stock of articles and interconnect them meaningfully.
- Create, expand, and perfect the basics. Occasionally, there are still some red links on the front page of the Citizendium. Particularly if you know a great deal about an area, and can help write a masterly summation of the field, we would like you to get down to business creating an article, or a better article, than we have now. We have done that for at least one field (Biology), but many other articles need careful attention. Since these will be among the first articles that people see, we would like these to be as high-quality as possible.
- Get rid of orphans. Visit our list of "orphaned pages," i.e., articles to which no other articles link. You can find that list of orphaned pages, by the way, via the left sidebar, under "toolbox". Click "Special pages". There are many good reasons for this, but the main one is that it will encourage the conceptual build-out of our articles. If someone has written an article about obese pets, for example, and no one has yet written the articles about animals or pets, then "filling in the gaps" between the very general topic and the more specific topic will help build out the conceptual structure of our articles. By the way, do please create links to all new articles. If this requires that you create a placeholder article or two, then do so.
- Expand stub articles. "Stub articles" are very short articles on topics that deserve much longer articles. See our list of short pages. Anything you see there that is under 1000 bytes is, rest assured, far too short. Anything that short is, frankly, embarrassing. Some of them should be marked for speedy deletion: see Article Deletion Policy if you want to do that.
- Copyedit. If (and only if) your English is superlative, you could do far worse than to look through the "live articles" and fix spelling, tighten up wording, and so forth.
- Create and import images. You can import appropriate images, from Wikimedia Commons or from other sources--only if they can be legally reused, here on the Citizendium. Generally speaking, avoid material that is copyrighted (and not licensed under a free license), for which we have no copyright information, or which is available only via "fair use." To upload a file, click on "Upload file" (part of the "toolbox," see the left sidebar links). Be sure to fill out the summary and explain where you got the file and what the copyright status is.
- Contribute to whatever others are working on. One of the most effective ways to get other people motivated and (positively) excited is to chip in with a bit of help yourself. Don't let other people work just by themselves on an article. Help them out a bit. It makes the recipient of your help feel like what he or she is doing is visible--that it matters.
- Help compile a list of mailing lists. Search for and confirm the current activity of mailing lists where we might call for participants. See our mailing list outreach page.
- Redesign our mailing list outreach page. Perhaps you could make the mailing list outreach page into an elegant table, not too wide, with a column for people to mark whether a list had been solicited yet. Alternatively, simply clean up the page, make it consistent.
- Send mails to the lists. Send some version of the recruitment letter to the mailing lists. Get permission from moderators when appropriate, please. You can help with this now--we're ready! When finished with a list, please be sure to mark it as "done."
- Add to this list!