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PortlandWiki's Evolving Policy Development Page

PortlandWiki's aim is to develop community-driven policies that are arrived at through proposals, discussion and some measure of consensus. Our expectation is that policies are not necessarily set in stone, but are those the community can modify and adapt as PortlandWiki grows and evolves.

PortlandWiki's "prime directive" (as it were) is to make PortlandWiki a genuine voice for the entire community of people who call the City of Portland home. To get a sense of the kind of community resource PortlandWiki aims to strive for, the Voice of Portland and Community Portal discussion pages are good places to start. While there, please feel encouraged to add your voice too.

Wiki Culture: Why Wikis Work!

Wikis are successful online collaborations because most community members share a set of values about how wikis can work. The three basic principles about wikis -- often referred to as "the wiki way" -- are that wikis are organic, open and observable.

Meatball Wiki describes this as:

  • Open: The community should WelcomeNewcomers, and AssumeGoodFaith.
  • Organic: The community should grow (and shrink) organically, with the ebb and flow of interest.
  • Observable: The community should moderate itself through SoftSecurity, and ensure an OpenProcess in all decisions.

What constitutes Good Faith?

  • No intention of malice.
  • People trying their best to do their best for the greater good of the community.
  • Friendliness, honesty, caring.

What makes an OpenProcess

  • Transparency - all communications and decisions are public and archived so anyone interested may get all information.
  • No time constraints - all decisions (democratic or not) are suggested or announced during a reasonable time span before they become effective so that there is time for discussion and feedback.
  • Participation - in principle, anyone is welcome to participate through discussions, decisions *and* work (plus, this opens the chance for restrictions in case of problems).
  • Reflection and reversibility - any decision may be reversed if the results are not as expected, are contentious or malicious (e.g., spamming).
  • Tolerance - any system or process should have the flexibility in the application of its policies and rules.
  • Sharing and collaborating on visible and accessible goals and resources.

How you can start to work on this wiki

The easiest way to start is by contributing information to a page that already exists. Simply click the "edit" link at the top of the page, type your information, and click "save" at the bottom of the page. It's that simple! For more information about editing and creating new pages, see the Help Editing page. As you get more comfortable editing and contributing new content to the PortlandWiki, you might find yourself including more wiki elements as shown on the Help Editing page. Just do what you can and who knows -- another PortlandWiki contributor may come along in short order and add to what you've started.

If you're new to writing and editing wiki pages, we suggest your check out the wiki basics page for some hints on simple wiki code.

To track the work you've done on this wiki, we encourage you to create a PortlandWiki account by clicking on the link at the top right corner of the page. But you don't need a PortlandWiki account to get started. Many folks create and edit information anonymously and that's ok, too!

Using copyright material

Any use of copyright content should be made sparingly, and only when deemed absolutely necessary to accurately and sufficiently communicate the specifics of a particular PortlandWiki article. Please refer to PortlandWiki:Copyrights for details. However, there is a lot of free and public content that is available through Creative Commons licenses.

Connect with other contributors

Please also consider attending one of our weekly PortlandWiki edit meetings, currently happening each Monday evening at either the Powell's Technical Books, 40 NW 10th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209 (Corner of NW 10th Avenue & NW Couch Street. This is Powell's Tech's new location.) Check the Monday Meets schedule for times and locations.

In development