PortlandWiki talk:Community Portal/Archive 1

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This is an archive of old discussions. Please feel free to continue these discussions on the parent talk page.

Notes from WikiWednesday:

prepping work for talking to the city

  • Think about where it will live (i.e. domain)
  • What wiki engine? MediaWiki, MoinMoin?
  • Relation to City Hall?
    • Publicity? Who can give it? Where else can we get it? (Knight Foundation, Meyer?)
  • Design work in skin/lo-go
  • Community Manager?

What are good short-term needs a wiki could fill?

I'm not sure this the right place to put this, but as would said at WW, let's get a couple things upon which to hang the whole structure. Just a couple ideas, let's expand. --Esprqii 21:23, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Portland public schools. Let's seed with the stuff already done over on Wikipedia (the PPS article and the high schools), then expand to create articles on the elementary and middle schools as well. Put in stuff that potential students/parents would be interested in: test scores, ratings, district map, enrollment etc. Stuff that would be good in a civic wiki but wouldn't survive on WP.
  • Portland parks and rec. Again, seed with what is on WP, then expand with detail.
  • Coffee shops and culture. List/descriptions of coffeehice. Could be a good jumping-off point to get external businesses interested.
  • Microbrew culture. The yang to the coffee culture yin.
  • Bike routes. It worked for Davis, it could certainly work here.
  • celebrities. People like the Reverend Phil and the chef from Nutshell.
I have a concern about this one: putting an emphasis on individuals opens the door to all kinds of ugliness (i.e., at the extreme, libel). Other sites have dealt with this in different ways: it appears that DavisWiki has its "People" link direct to user accounts. Wikipedia has an entire policy devoted to living persons, which is more restrictive than other policies. Encyclopedia Dramatica has throws all caution to the wind and lets you make whatever perverse and slanderous statement you like about whomever you like. I think this might be a reasonable approach: for the most part, permit only user-space pages about people, which are initially created by the person themselves, and giving the person absolute veto power over anything on there (including deleting it and all of its history). For very notable people (e.g. mayors, city commissioners...) allow a one-sentence factual description, with a link (or multiple links) to other sites, like Wikipedia, Oregon Encyclopedia, Portlandonline, etc. How's that sound as a general approach? -Pete Forsyth
I was thinking about this too. BLPs on Wikipedia are a huge source of disputes and edit wars, not to mention the career-wrecking libel they attract, even despite the thousands of dedicated editors committed to neutrality and removal of BLP violations. I think a civic wiki would have even less ability to handle BLPs, since the percentage of dedicated editors, even if the same as Wikipedia, would be overwhelmed by the fewer reliable sources and laxer notability criteria a civic wiki would require. I might even go a bit farther than Pete and say "no articles on people period", even the very notable ones (user pages would be fine, if implemented as Pete described). If they are truly notable, Wikipedia is the place for them; and if they aren't, stuff like "John Doe is a local business owner and registered sex offender" or even "Jane Doe was born in 1937" (when she's much younger) would certainly crop up. While a one-sentence factual description like Pete describes would be fine, I can see the boundaries of that being continuously pushed from the start... it's probably not worth the headache. -kotra 01:04, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Are you guys specifically referring to living persons, or does this apply to deceased as well? A large part of the reason that I was attracted to this site was because I do a lot of historical research that would be of local interest, but is too specific for the interests on Wikipedia. For example, could I write an article on former Oregonian editor Arden X. Pangborn? This could lead to a list of "former Oregonian editors", but then how would it be policed in such a way that no living (albeit retired?) editors would be included on the list? It seems like this might be an extremely difficult policy to police effectively, but I've got a vested interest because I want to write about people specifically. -Khris Soden - 11:26am, 8 November 2009
This is a good point. Maybe we should keep it loose for now, allowing articles on both dead and living people, and see if it becomes an actual problem. If it does, we can revisit it and consider disallowing living person bios. -kotra 19:38, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
It seems blp's should not be here; and if they are, then it is only with flagged revisions, and perhaps also with lp permission. Michael
My feeling on it is that we are not setting out to be an encyclopedia - we are learning what it means to be a civic wiki - so people should be able to create a page about themselves if they want. I think even creating pages for folks is ok if we are doing it to invite them to this place - not catalog their everything. ~~ MarkDilley
  • traditions. Santacon and other local traditions that wouldn't necessarily be covered by Wikipedia because they're portland-specific.
  • businesses Most local businesses wouldn't merit a page on Wikipedia.
  • Public water fountains document location and local history around each one of them

Very short-term/low impact/high utility projects

Most of the suggestions above are great, but highly ambitious. Are there more bite-sized projects we could take on in the early stages, to quickly produce something with obvious value, without a lot of outlay of resources (including time and energy)? -Pete Forsyth

  • Directory of Portland wiki communities (should be built to complement wikiindex.org)
  • build some wiki documentation
  • list of major portland institutions (city hall, art museum, library, Oregonian...could start of with just 20 or so, relatively light work leading to useful result)
I was not saying let's do them all right off, just throwing out a couple of ideas. Personally, I think the schools one would be a great place to start because a lot of that info already exists and could be ported over from WP.
And speaking of "just porting over;" can we do that, and how should we do it? In other words, for starters, can I just cut and paste the Portland Public Schools (Oregon) article into a new page called Portland Public Schools here? I mean, I know I can, but is that the way we are thinking of creating articles here, and are there any ethical/legal issues with cutting and pasting from Wikipedia? This line appears at the bottom of the page when you make a WP edit: "You agree to be credited, at minimum, through a hyperlink or URL when your contributions are reused in any form." Do we need to do that? Is an edit line summary (eg, "Initial version of this article excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Public_Schools_(Oregon)") in the first edit sufficient? There are certainly millions of mirror sites that have no problem copying and pasting from WP without attribution (so far as I know) but I'm just trying to set our highly ethical ground rules. --Esprqii
Fair enough, I suppose the schools and some of the others really wouldn't take all that much work. They're all good ideas, did not mean to shoot 'em down! As for copying vs. linking: I believe the GFDL and CC-BY-SA can both be satisfied with a link, but I'm not 100% sure. I know that GFDL permits listing only the top 5 contributors, if the list is really long. However, I think linking is probably best where content already exists...that way we don't need to maintain content in two places. (Though, adding more detailed info in addition couldn't hurt.) -Pete Forsyth 22:47, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

List from September WW

This list was compiled, mostly by Kotra, on the white board (a.k.a. Wiki on Wheels) at the September WikiWednesday:

  • universities/colleges
  • community centers
  • churches
  • neighborhoods
  • businesses
  • historic buildings
  • pay phones
  • bridges
  • organizations
  • bus stops
  • bus lines
  • police stateions
  • parks
  • public restrooms
  • interesting cultural locations (murals, museums etc)
  • streets
  • libraries
  • political parties

What are our long-term goals? areas of concern?

See also the "mission statement" section below.

  • Ownership of domain name(s), site: The site could be owned by individual(s), by a non-profit, or by a government entity. Starting off with individual ownership makes sense, be we should probably seek to transfer ownership to a more stable entity at some point. A foundation? a non-profit? Multnomah County Library? City Council? -Pete Forsyth
Ownership by a foundation or government seems like best in the long run... a personal wiki could evolve into this perhaps? If the content is open - cc-by or cc-by-sa then the government or a foundation could always fork it. haha :) Rain

What kind of resources would be helpful?

What could go wrong?

What has gone wrong on other wikis? Anything? Rain

Well, kotra observed that richmondwiki.org seems to be rather promotional in tone, when it comes to businesses etc...though I'm not sure that's "wrong" :) I think it would be good to interview some people who are active on some other civic wikis. I'm looking for the right person to talk to in Davis... -Pete Forsyth 22:49, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Do we want a mission statement, slogan, or similar?

It would help us focus our efforts. I think we should incorporate the line on the front page of the WikiWednesday main page: "Portland, the birthplace of wikis." Our wikipride should compel us to have the best civic wiki anywhere. --Esprqii 21:06, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

That's awesome, do you think somebody could photoshop Ward's face on this photo of Miles Davis? -Pete

possible concepts to incorporate

  • Promote/celebrate wiki culture in Portland
  • Promote/celebrate Portland culture in the wiki world
  • Help Portland n00bs learn about Portland, wiki n00bs learn about wiki
  • Provide a common space for existing Portland wiki communities to collaborate and build momentum in their projects (WP:ORE, Personal Telco, Shift to bikes...)
  • Build alliances with other civic wiki groups around the world


What platform should we use? What plug-ins or add-ons?

  • I would like to use Mediawiki; in addition, I think the way RichmondWiki.org has implemented forms (for business listings, etc.) is very useful, and would like to see that implemented on ours. In addition, the HotCat gadget is transformatively useful if we want to have categories be a major part of our site. -Pete

Real names

One of the many ways to deal with the problems of incivility on collaborative sites is to require the use of real names. Is this something we want to do on a Portland wiki? Do we want to require login? I note that DavisWiki.org does require real names. -Pete Forsyth

Seems like a good idea for the long term.... Rain
We don't know yet if we'll have a problem with incivility, so I don't think we should require it from the start. If we do, requiring real names could help, but how could it be enforced? What if someone has the name "Ronald McDonald" (my sister-in-law knew someone with this name) or "kotra" (which is not my legal name, but it's what I go by)?
As for requiring login, I'd only do that if we have a big vandalism problem. Unregistered editing is one of the biggest draws to participation, and growth would be much slower without it. -kotra 21:07, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
It would be a community standard - not a forceable policy - in fact I think that doing policies right now is way too premature. ~~ MarkDilley
Vandalism has occurred. I used diff to restore what I could and will erase the junk added to blank pages, but this sucks.--Psychomia 00:40, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
The captcha will probably stop most of the vandalism, as it did at Portland WikiWednesday wiki... if it doesn't though, then we may wish to consider disabling unregistered editing. -kotra 11:22, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

How to reach out to readers and contributors?

Partner with other organizations to get the word out:

  • Neighborhood associations
  • Business coalitions
  • OurPDX blog
  • bojack
  • City Hall
  • libraries
  • schools
  • seek press coverage
  • Word of mouth
  • search engines

You're the one with the brains here. I'm wactinhg for your posts.

A checklist

How about a checklist of things we'd like to get done before a more public launch of PortlandWiki?

  1. finalize logo (PortlandWiki:Logo)
    love the one we have now! ~~ MarkDilley
    I think at least the "Portland Wiki" part needs to be changed since we're using "PortlandWiki" (one word) everywhere. -kotra (talk) 23:07, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
  2. finalize home page (Talk:PortlandWiki#Main page drafts)
    no need to finalize - be bold :-) ~~ MarkDilley
  3. create example pages/articles (Powell's Books work-in-progress)
  4. figure out a friendly help system for novice editors (Wikibuddy? In-wiki help desk like Wikipedia? Written tutorials?)
  5. de-redlink the important pages on main page (introduction/how to edit, policies, etc)
    don't think this is a needed first step - think letting it emerge will work just fine ~~ MarkDilley
  6. fix citations (extension?)
  7. fix poor/nonexistant SVG rendering

Wiki-wide updates

8 October 2009:

  • enabled ability to upload files
  • changed the project space from PortlandWikiORG: to PortlandWiki:
  • added SVG to list of uploadable file types
  • finished the GFDL -> CC-BY-SA conversions in the interface and layout, still need to create a PortlandWiki:Copyrights page

24 October 2009:

3 November 2009:

  • put up logo, probably just a temporary placeholder

7 November 2009:

  • our first rash of spam. In response, installed simple CAPTCHA for adding URLs, registering new accounts, and failing logins.

8 November 2009:

4 December 2009:

  • added "talk" link to user talk page on signatures by default (at MediaWiki:Signature); if you prefer no talk page link you can customize your signature in your preferences.

Started a page to plan and design the logo: PortlandWiki:Logo. Input welcome! -kotra 05:52, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

I am interested in some of the other designs for the portland wiki. Koltra, did you say you did several designs? Best, MarkDilley
I haven't created any new logos yet, since nobody seemed interested except me (until now!). But now I will work on some new designs; if you have any thoughts/suggestions check out PortlandWiki:Logo and maybe give me feedback there (or here, or on my talk page, or whatever). Thanks for expressing this! -kotra (talk) 22:47, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Made a few logos. Everyone's encouraged to check them out and comment at PortlandWiki:Logo. -kotra (talk) 09:09, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


Incorporating a registration with email verification would cut down on the automated spam-graffiti that plagues fully open wikis.. Laen

I've installed a CAPTCHA so adding a URL will require the user to answer a simple math problem. I did this for the Portland Wiki Wednesday wiki and it virtually eliminated all spam, since they seem to all involve adding URLs. Hopefully it will do the same here, and we won't have to require registration (unregistered editing is a huge draw). But if the CAPTCHA doesn't work, we could do that. -kotra 07:21, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
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