CZ:Workgroup Weeks/Preparation

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This is a detailed, editable/collaborative set of "instructions" for those of us executing Workgroup Weeks (individual weeks and the whole initiative series). Most of the organizational work for a Workgroup Week will probably be done before the week itself.

If you want to help organize a workgroup week for a workgroup, then please use this generic workgroup sign-up sheet to get started.

Workgroup preparation

  • Each workgroup needs a Workgroup Week Coordinator--a cheerleader, secretary, and reporter--as informal and low-key as possible--as a key expert contact point. This person should be willing to put his or her name as a press contact.
  • We develop the workgroup's page brilliantly.
  • We develop the Core Articles list for the workgroup completely (or make this a goal for the Week itself).
  • Make other pending decisions (maybe).

Letter composition

Academic recruitment

  • Early on--before Internet recruitment--we send letters to major academic departments and academic/professional organizations, introducing ourselves and asking for some sort of endorsement--i.e., asking them to ask their colleagues and members to participate on the week:
    • Create a list of departments and e-mail addresses.
    • Send letter, respond to any reply, and post any endorsements on the workgroup week's page.
  • As editors arrive, we construct a list of newly-recruited editors; we ask existing members (preferably editors) to follow up with those people.

Internet recruitment

There are zillions of mailing lists, blogs, Web forums, etc., in every field. We can get (and have gotten) large numbers of people to join CZ simply by telling people in those venues of our existence. For each workgroup, need volunteers to do the following.

Note that template sign-up pages for Internet recruitment are separate from the main workgroup week sign-up page. You'll see this when you look at CZ:Workgroup Weeks/Generic sign-up page.

Searching for Web resources

NOTE for the following: if you're not experienced in searching for Web resources like these, here are some tips:

  • Google the all-knowing, all-seeing is often your best source. If I were searching for anthropology mailing lists, I might type in anthropology "mailing list" and I wouldn't go far wrong.
  • There are specific hosting services of mailing lists (like Yahoo Groups) and sometimes the best way to find an active group is to go directly there to search.
  • There are also many websites that list mailing lists. There must also be websites that list Web forums.
  • There are many blog search engines that allow you to search not just individual blog posts but for the blogs themselves. Technorati is one of the best, but Ask and Google blog search might be useful...and there are others.
  • Another good way to find Internet resources is to search Google for the leading websites about a general topic, websites that present themselves as "home base" for a subject. These will often list mailing lists, forums, and blogs.
  • Add a tip!

Mailing lists

  • Locate and give the address of as many active mailing lists as possible--at least three, but please try to do more than that.
  • Actually join the list(s).
  • Write the listowner and ask for permission to post the message.
  • Actually post the message (if the listowner doesn't post it him/herself). (There will be a form letter to adapt for this.)
  • Follow-up on any replies made to the message (you might have to defend the project against objections!). Stay on the list until you've finished the next step.
  • On the first day of the Workgroup Week, post messages to all the lists saying that the Citizendium X-ology Week is starting now--come join us, etc. (We might have a template to use for this mail, too.)
  • Note: for very big mailing lists/list clusters, like H-Net, we can have for example an "H-Net Day" in which people from that community are specifically invited to join in. Think of it as a sort of Write-a-Thon sort of "get-together."

A generic (template) sign-up list for these items can be found on CZ:Workgroup Weeks/Mailing list generic sign-up.

Web forums

  • Locate and give the address of as many active Web forums (example) as possible.
  • Actually join the forum(s).
  • If necessary (but it probably won't be), write the forum moderator(s), and ask for permission to post the message.
  • Actually post the message (if the listowner doesn't post it him/herself). (There will be a form letter to adapt for this.)
  • Follow-up on any replies made to the message (you might have to defend the project against objections!).
  • On the first day of the Workgroup Week, post messages to all the forums saying that the Citizendium X-ology Week is starting now--come join us, etc. (We might have a template to use for this post, too.)

A generic (template) sign-up list for these items can be found on CZ:Workgroup Weeks/Forum generic sign-up.

Blogs

  • Collect, from your blog search engine(s) or other resource of course, the addresses of some very high-traffic blogs devoted mostly to the workgroup's topic. (Technorati should work well here.)
  • Visit the blogs, make sure they're active, and collect either the e-mail address or the URL of the contact form for the blog.
  • Ask the blogger to post an announcement of the Citizendium X-ology Week that is coming up on [date]. For maximum impact, send these messages out all at the same time. (There will be a form letter, or press release--see below--to adapt for this.)
  • On the first day of the Workgroup Week, once again, if appropriate, ask the blog to post an announcement that the CZ X-ology Week is starting now--come join us, etc. (We might have a template to use for this post, too.)

A generic (template) sign-up list for these items can be found on CZ:Workgroup Weeks/Blog generic sign-up.

"Big" websites

  • Locate the leading websites (not blogs) for the discipline.
  • Determine whether they have an announcement section, newsletter, mailing list, etc.
  • If so, send the CZ X-ology Week message to them.
  • On the first day of the Workgroup Week, once again, if appropriate, ask the webmaster to post an announcement that the CZ X-ology Week is starting now--come join us, etc.

A generic (template) sign-up list for these items can be found on CZ:Workgroup Weeks/Big website generic sign-up.

Social networking websites

??

Press release

  • We write a press release focused at industry publications, in advance. (This can be a tailored version of a press release we write for the first Workgroup Week.) The press contacts should include Larry as well as an editor from the workgroup.
  • Create list of industry publications and e-mail addresses/Web contact form URLs.
  • Send copies of the press release in advance to the industry publications.
  • Send reminders on the first day of the Workgroup Week.

Note to potential Workgroup Week organizers

Again, if you want to help organize a workgroup week for a workgroup, the above information is all nicely arranged into sign-up sheet form. Please adapt this generic workgroup sign-up sheet to get started. You'll find instructions on that page.