This is the old discussion page which is archived here as it had an interesting effect on the wiki. If you want to raise new points please use EarthWikiDiscussion.



I can see what you mean, and I have quite often set things up with the idealistic impression that everyone will find them useful. Mostly it's been stuff to do with Crossfire, namely a couple of attempts to get a discussion list running and, more recently, seeing if people were interested in forums. Even the forums on my own site only really get used when I set up a topic and tell people about it - it doesn't just get looked at. I also know that Graham set up some forums for ex-Jubilee campus (one campus of Uni of Nottingham) but that they don't really get many hits.

I guess, as you say, all these things lack a major selling point. Maybe we need some help from a marketing guru :D

Having said that, I found that my blog along with others I host, have been rather successful. Although I kind of ran blogs on old websites, it was never the focus. I guess that's the major selling point for that isn't it? Think I might use my blog to advertise my forums a bit more :)

Anyway, just my thoughts and empathisations (is that a word?!)

you are definitely limiting your market share to those people who have have clue about what wiki's are and what you do with them, which i don't think is many people but might be the only people you are interested in i suppose. i don't think this site has much structure either. you might want it to all be random, but a bit too random and it becomes confused and people don't know what they could add to it anyway. i don't really know though. maybe that's why it seems confused to me.

so will this just appear on the page then?

"Wikis wock" :) I just think they're ahead of their time a bit to be honest. That and the fact that people won't really /want/ to change the content of a site that isn't theirs, because that's a bit like trespassing. Add that to the fact that there are MIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLIIIIIIIIOOONNNNNNNNS of people's webshites out there and what you have is something that should stick out but probably doesn't to anyone other than those who know you *and* know of your wiki. That narrows the number down somewhat I would imagine.

<Blatent_plug />

Some kind soul corrected AddingPages recently and someone else added bits to RandomStuff so perhaps all is not lost.

i like that you can just doodle all over someone else's website, maybe because it feels a bit naughty (ooer). my problem is that once i have got here i have no idea what to put. most people have their own blogs now and so will put all their random poo in that and people will post comments if they want a discussion about it. maybe a wiki is just not different enough from blogs/forums/news to warrant lots of attention.

then again, this discussion page seems to be working quite well.

(i'm sorry huggiebun, you'll prolly get lots of emails now because i kept doing things wrong and having to save changes over and over again).

I think structured wikis may be a better way to go. wikis like these are useful for random scratch pads (as you mentioned things like the OxLUG/earthlings pages are the only things that have really been used widely) because it's not all things to all people, and I don't think it suits a replacement for your web page, which is what you /seem/ to want. Actually I said to myself that I'd never end up running a wiki because I didn't think I'd ever care enough about them, but the Oxford Guide has enthused me - because it ends up being a structured guide that can be used as a normal web site. I was even thinking about the possibility of having some magic to make it into a printable guide book - now that's about as far from a traditional wiki as you can get! -- Dom

Some real-life photos of the earthlings (not just South-Park style caricatures, nice as they are) would be nice, (though preferably not photos of alleged earthling initiation rites).

Hmmm. I've had a squiz at MonthCalendar and it could have potential. I think there'd need to be a DayCalendar with time divisions and then you could hoover data out of that and export it via iCalendar so I could subscribe Mozilla Calendar to the Wiki calendar.

What sort of content do you want here ?

There are lots of wiki listed on SwitchWiki. I have an idea about something I want to write about, Imagine I'm paging through SwitchWiki for just the right wiki to stick it in.

I see yours listed at

Is this the one ?

There's no comment, nothing to draw people in, so I guess not. Moving on...

I have a wiki of my own, so I sympathize.

-- DavidCary

Simon, just jumping in here. Forgive me for intruding, but I have some advice. As you know, there is nothing intrinsic about wikis that will attract people to write on them. You need to build the social organization yourself through time honoured techniques, like marketing, organizing, leading, and teaching. However, coming to the site myself, there is no immediate GuidePost that directs me to what its purpose is and whether or not I align with it. The wiki is called "Stuff and Things" whose WikiMission is, "This is a fairly random group of pages which hopefully make some sort of sense." I don't know what to make of that. Do I belong or not? Deference of course goes to the latter (unless you're a good for nothing spammer).

What is our SuperordinateGoal? What CommonContext do you and I both share? What barn are we supposed to be raising together (cf. BarnRaising)? If you state these explicitly, then I'll bet your TeethToTailRatio would improve. Then you have to proselytize the wiki to others whom you think might share your goal. I personally don't think that wikis are really ahead of their time as was suggested; after all, you can teach the technology--it's not that complicated. The first step, if I may suggest, is generating interest.

That is basically restating what was said above, but with hyperlinks to MeatballWiki. One more thing I would suggest is that your initial topic should be more specific than "what the people want." You can expand your mission to fit what the people want after you have attracted them. You should select your target market, determine what they want (or at least one thing they want), and then focus on that for a while until you have enough momentum to expand your scope.

See also KeepOnTheGrass. -- SunirShah


TheEarthWiki: HuggieWikiDiscussion (last edited 2008-10-21 21:39:55 by JonathanMcDowell)