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CZ:Recruitment

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This is a community log and organizational center for any recruitment efforts we make.

Please join the Workgroup Weeks project!

It's time to get the word out!

Our nascent recruitment drive, logged below, has been successful, for the modest amount of work done so far. In the first 48 hours of the recruitment drive, we created over 30 new accounts. That's the result of calls for participation to 7-8 mailing lists, a couple of blog posts, and even some paper flyers. Activity on the wiki has jumped up recently as well.

Please, let's keep this up! In fact, we can do even better, particularly when we hit some really big lists. Please, post announcements on big discussion lists, or professional announcement venues you contribute to, or faculty lists--whatever you can finagle. If there's any question, of course, ask for moderator/editor permission first. But most people don't mind a call for participation.

Please log all your recruitment activity on this page, below (most recent first). This page (CZ:Recruitment) is easy to find. Find it via the "Home" link in the left sidebar (CZ:Home). It's under Initiatives.

If you're wondering why we didn't do this before, the explanation is simple. We now have an automated account approval system. Before, it was really hard for constables to get new people on board. Now, they can do it with a click of a button. Our constables are now underworked. We need more applications!

How to draft an announcement

  • Use your own voice, but feel free to adapt text from other people's announcements, linked below.
  • Be upbeat, be positive. You should explain why CZ is necessary even though Wikipedia already exists, but don't bash Wikipedia too much.
  • Appeal to the specific interests and concerns of your audience. E.g., when soliciting philosophers, I (Larry Sanger) explained why CZ is different from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and what advantages it has.
  • Points to emphasize: (1) what Citizendium is, what its main features are (most people haven't heard of us!); (2) why it's needed; (3) brag! say how we've grown nicely and have an excellent future ahead of us; (4) why contribute (tailored to your audience!); and (5) specially point out the relevant CZ:Core Articles section and specifically invite people to help fill that out. All of these points are addressed in this mail.

Mailing list posts

See CZ:Mailing List Outreach for a list of lists.

IRTRAD-L
Who and when: Larry Sanger 21:45, 23 October 2007 (CDT)
Made another version of my recruitment letter, sent to the main Irish traditional music list. Not sure how many subscribers, 500 maybe?
ARNOVA-L
Who and When: User:Roger Lohmann 15:38, 17 October (EDT)
Adapted and quoted Larry's memo to PHILOS-L for the 1,200 subscribers to this list who are interested in all facets of civil society, nonprofit organizations and related topics.
Balkan Academic News (balkans@yahoogroups)
Who and when: --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 21:09, 18 October 2007 (CDT)
Notes: circulated 21 Oct 07, to mailing list of 5,751 members
LINGUIST LIST
Who and when: John Stephenson 00:13, 18 October 2007 (CDT)
Notes: First mailed back in April; sending a follow-up.
Stagecraft mailing list
Who and when: Steven Santos 23:23, 16 October 2007 (CDT)
Notes: call to high level technical theater / stagecraft folks from around the world
Clown Newsletter
Who and when: Steven Santos 23:12, 16 October 2007 (CDT)
Notes: call to high level circus folks from around the world
ClownsRUS
Who and when: Steven Santos 22:27, 16 October 2007 (CDT)
Notes: call to high level circus folks from around the world
CircusVern
Who and when: Steven Santos 22:27, 16 October 2007 (CDT)
Notes: call to high level circus folks from around the world
NANOG (North American Network Operators' Group]]
Who and when: Howard C. Berkowitz 15:30, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Notes: Posted CZ link to subject (anycast) I might have presented if I could afford to go to the next meeting. NANOG puts its presentations online, but has no means of publication other than an active mailing list. Suggested CZ as a means of putting presentations, or long mailing list threads, into a more accessible form for beginners.
PHILOSOP
Who and when: Larry Sanger 21:13, 16 October 2007 (CDT)
Notes: explained why philosophers should get involved with CZ, despite the existence of Wikipedia, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Here's a copy of the mail.
PHILOS-L
Who and when: Larry Sanger 21:13, 16 October 2007 (CDT)
Notes: explained why philosophers should get involved with CZ, despite the existence of Wikipedia, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Here's a copy of the mail.
CARING
Who and when: Aric S. Campling 07:35, 2 July, 2007 (EDT)
Notes: call to professional nurses and nursing informatics specialists to help start and flesh out the Nursing category and related topics. (Backdated, since that is when I Sent the actual email.)
TFUG-L
Who and when: Eric M Gearhart 12:51:35, Mon Dec 31 2007 (CDT)
Notes: Asked the local Tucson Free Unix Users Group to contribute to Citizendium. See the post itself here

Mailing Lists not yet posted to

I intend to post to
CHEMCOM list (Chemistry in the Community Discussion List)
CHEMED-L (a forum for matters of interest to Chemical educators at all levels)
However, the first has a 200 word limit, and I would like to combine one announcement if possible, that does mention Eduzendium components. Does anyone have a rough draft for me that I could crib off of? David E. Volk 16:44, 8 July 2008 (CDT)
I intend to post to professional economists as soon as I have the addresses of suitable targets. ( I have asked members of the economics mailing list for suggestions). Nick Gardner 10:43, 13 September 2008 (CDT)

Blog posts

Citizendium looking for circus experts (CircusNews.com)
This was posted to the CircusNews.com website to try and recruit more circus experts. Steven Santos 22:25, 16 October 2007 (CDT)
Dear Philosophers (Citizendium blog)
This is my kick-off mail for our new recruitment effort, sent to PHILOSOP and PHILOS-L. It explains why philosophers should get involved with CZ, despite the existence of Wikipedia, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Feel free to forward it to philosophers! --Larry Sanger 21:23, 16 October 2007 (CDT)

Social networking

Social networking sites allow friends, alumni, employees and so on to link up online, often via shared interests.

Facebook
Some Citizendium contributors are members of a Facebook group, where updates are posted and discussion is possible. Facebook is geared towards people in the 20's and up, so is particularly suitable for recruitment, whereas sites like MySpace often cater to younger users. Several posts have been made here by various people. There is also a publicly-accessible 'fan' page for Citizendium on the same site. John Stephenson 10:42, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Offline Recruiting

Distributable flier for CZ Recruiting around your community, campus, or other social bulletin board.
Created by Robert King as a part to bolster non-digital real world recruitment efforts. (Available in PDF by request)

Message to the SABR baseball stat gurus group -- possible format for similar messages

I sent the below message to the online "List" group of some of the members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), trying to stir up some interest in getting them to join us. I sent a copy of the message to Larry, and he asked me to post my message here as a sample of what other people might do to recruit new members:

I'm sure that all of you are well aware of the invaluable Wikipedia and use it frequently -- as do I. You're probably also aware of some of its more obvious flaws: an increasingly dumbed-down style of writing and of formatting that is apparently designed to cater to the lowest common denominator; factual errors in some of the articles; rapid changes within some of the articles caused by ongoing editorial wars by competing writers; and, if you yourselves are contributors, then all the problems caused by incessant editorial wars, an obsession with "citations" and "sources", drive-by vandalism, "revert wars", name-calling, useless and endless arguments about editorial content, with the outcome usually decided by those who are the most pathologically obsessed with upholding their own position. Years ago, when there were still many articles waiting to be written at Wikipedia, or had just barely been started, I collaborated on a number of the baseball articles, mostly by adding new material, rewriting a lot of the illiterate stuff to be found there, and uploading magazine covers to illustrate the articles.

After a while, and after many, many words contributed, I became disillusioned with the way it was evolving and left.

A year and a half ago I read about a new project called Citizendium -- a dumb name I thought at the time and a dumb name (I think) it remains. The concept, however, isn't so dumb. Dr. Larry Sanger (PhD. in philosophy and a professor of same) was, with the better-known Jimmy Wales, one of the two founders of Wikipedia. After a while he too became disillusioned with the path it was taking and, a couple of years ago, started a rival encyclopedia, also based on exactly the same wiki engine that Wikipedia uses.

Physically they're about the same -- they look almost the same, although there *are* differences, and the mechanics of editing them are exactly the same. Aside from that, in the most important ways they're different.

Citizendium aims for quality, not sheer quantity. We'd like to have millions of articles, sure, but we're not in a rush to get them all at once. For Citizendians a few, well-written articles are better than a horde of ill-written ones. Vandalism, obscenity, childish edits, rampant ignorance, food fights between competing writers, etc. are eliminated by a simple strategy: although anyone at all can access its articles at: http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Welcome_to_Citizendium , you have to apply for membership *under your real name* in order to write articles or to edit them.

Then there's Dr. Sanger's other basic concept: Citizendium will incorporate the knowledge, and the writing skills, of *experts*. Wikipedia essentially disdains expertise, counting on the input of millions of contributors to eventually, by a dialectical process apparently, create trustworthy articles. At Citizendium there are so-called Editors, who are recruited from qualified "experts", ie, those with post-graduate degrees, jobs that qualify them as being experts in their fields, and other qualifications. I'm an Author at CZ, because although I know a lot about baseball, I don't have an advanced degree in some aspect of it, or of sports in general, and I'm not a newspaper reporter writing on baseball, say, for the Boston Globe. If I were, I too could be an Editor. Many of the people in this List could be editors. All of us, however, could be Authors, about anything we want to be. Editors are also Authors, if they choose to be, but they also serve two important functions -- they guide the authors in the creation of articles AND they give final Approval status to articles that, in their judgment, are finished enough, and skillful enough, to merit being called an Approved Article. At that point, the article is essentially frozen. No more editing is permitted on it and it stands alone as an encyclopedia article that, we hope, will eventually become known as the standard reference for that item. (Revisions are still permitted on a newly created "draft" version of the Approved Article and are, from time to time, incorporated by the Editors into the Approved version.)

If you want to see a clear difference in the two approaches of Wikipedia and Citizendium, here are the two opening paragraph of Wikipedia's article on Satchel Paige at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satchel_Paige Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige (7 July 1906[1]–8 June 1982) was an American baseball player whose pitching in several different Negro Leagues and in Major League Baseball made him a legend in his own lifetime. Paige was a right-handed pitcher. His professional playing career lasted from the mid-1920s until 1965.[2] He appeared in the Major League All-Star Game in both 1952 and1953.

Here is the beginning of the same article at Citizendium, one that I wrote yesterday: http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Satchel_Paige

Leroy Robert ("Satchel") Paige (July 7, 1906, Mobile, Alabama–June 8, 1982, Kansas City, Missouri) was a legendary black baseball player who spent most of his career in the marginal and ill-paying Negro Leagues because the color of his skin barred him from playing in the all-white Major Leagues. Even though he toiled mostly in obscurity during his prime years, he was nevertheless well known throughout North America as being one of the greatest pitchers of his day, and late in his career he became even more famous as a seemingly ageless living legend who had at last managed to pitch his way into the Big Leagues.

I think there's a clear difference in the treatment and I think you'll find that most Citizendium articles are not meaningless laundry-lists of facts haphazardly arranged, as many of the Wikipedia articles have clearly become.

On behalf of Larry Sanger, and all the other members of Citizendium, I'd like to extend an invitation to everyone here at SABR to take a look at our efforts and, hopefully, to apply for membership. And to both begin writing about what INTERESTS YOU, and to collaborate with other well-informed, congenial people in a truly collegiate atmosphere that is quite different from that at Wikipedia.

Hayford Peirce

Recruitment requests

Have a subject about which you think we need more editors and authors? Would you like someone to go out and round up some more people in that area? Then please list the topic here!

  • Architecture - we currently have no editors at all - requested by User:Russ McGinn
  • Classics (i.e., ancient Greece and Rome), especially classical literature - requested by Larry Sanger
  • We are in need of more engineering and mathematics authors, after that perhaps also more editors - requested by Hendra
  • Earth sciences (climatologists, hydrologists, and glaciologists are in great demand!) - requested by Benjamin Seghers

Personnel interested in recruitment

If you are open to modest assignments, write: (assignable). If you prefer to direct yourself, you needn't write anything.

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