[cablewiki] Newsletter #1

  • From: admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: cablewiki@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2011 20:38:19 +0100

Hi Folks,

To those whom I haven't spoken to since last Year, happy 2011!

Now, a few words about this mailing list. I've created this because I'm starting to get overstrained with communicating over hundreds of different chanels: Twitter, IRC, Email, Discussion Page, Instant Messaging,... Problem was, that wherever I tried to communicate something, there was always someone who didn't get the message. So I've dugg out this antique invention form the last millenium called mailinglist. I've personally never liked them, because discussions tend to get out of hand very fast. So I urge you to stay on topic and keep it short. But I hope this will finally create an organized community. Some of you may receive this as a regular email. This is because I didn't want to put you on the mailinglist without asking you beforehand. So if you want to get updates on CableWiki and want to participate in the discussion, please drop me a note at admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

So I think it's best to provide you with a little update on the latest developpments:

# Translucent (hamstar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx) has managed to upload a complete archieve of the released Cables using LeekFead.com and his wikibot "CableBot". Now we have an entire database with cables, structured and even tagged.

# We've arranged several cooperations/mergers:

## KabelKearch.org: The guy behind this project wants to create an open database with separated content, summaries, tags, origins, dates, etc. It is planned that we will create a united database and do cross linking. Translucent is currently working on the integration.

## CablegateGame.com: Cable Game is a crowdsourcing effort to tag and summarize the cables utilizing game elements like a leaderboard. Translucent has talked to the creater and he's told us that we could use his database of summaries. It's also in discussion whether we could also share our Tag lists. They could supplement each other quite well, since our taggs are created from the TAGS provided by the cables itself, whereas the Tags at Cable Game are user submitted.

## CablegateWiki.org: Is a project quite similar to ours, but started one week later than we and is a bit smaller in user numbers. But they have created a very good rating system and a quite useful browsing table with dropdown menues. They have also a better social network integration than we. I've asked the founder of cablegatewiki to contribute to our project. Here's his (shortened) response:

Hi JayP,

I won't have much time to manage the site. Therefore, I'd
like to merge our sites together and redirect ablegatewiki.org to your site. I am happy to send you code for what I've done, once I've tidied it up and checked it for security. This includes:

* The citation generator
* The dropdown search and Tablegate parser
* Automatic cable updates from Leakfeed to the database.
* Automatic page generation of new cables from the database
* User rating bar (modified version of W4G Rating Bar extension)
* The Twitter widget
* Facebook/Twitter "like" buttons
* Extension that gets your site logo and title to show up correctly when pasted on Facebook/Digg/Reddit

There are also some existing Mediawiki plugins I am using which I found useful:
* Extension:Terminology
* Extension:Recaptcha (I have fixed the bugs that stop it working on MW 0.16)
* Extension:Cite (for references)

He's also said some interesting things about how to improve cablewiki. It started as a discussion about whether to have translation/summary/analasys/cable in one article or to separate it:

* "Information Overload": Simply put, if there is too much
information on a website that a user does not want to read, they are not likely to keep visiting or contributing. People visit the site, not just to contribute, but to find information that interests them. * Status: Users are competitive. "Points" systems work on sites like digg/reddit/stackoverflow etc. I want to put a widget on the main page that shows the number of edits a user has made each week. * Showing activity: The main page should show not just what the site is about, but also what is happening. New content has to be *visible* to keep users interest. I plan to write an extension that shows the recent "quality changes" (in my case Needs Attention/OK/Good Quality) on the site.

The Translation Problem
I go to your site to look for summaries and analysis, but most of the cables contain just the contents of the cable, which is
frustrating. This is a typical "information overload" issue, I
can't find information I want in the mass of data. I understand that you need the text on the page for the translation, and I have a proposed solution: The "translation" and "analysis" sections of the website need to be separated.

I don't know if you noticed the "citation generator" on my site, that lets you link directly to highlighted parts of the cable. It works great for summary and analysis, but obviously not for translation.

Have two main areas of the site, one for "analysis" and one for "translation", with links off the main page. The "analysis" side would be laid out like cablegatewiki.org.

The translation side would work as follows: Take a look at this:

That's the Semantic Mediawiki plugin that lets you edit pages
using forms. Imagine when editing a translation, if each paragraph of the cable could be shown above a text field, so instead of users having to copy over cables and translate all at once (which is messy), they could just translate paragraphs as they want. This would also let users filter translations by how many paragraphs have been translated etc. and then the cable could be shown right beside the translation on the wiki page (something like this:

I am happy to start developing the translation plugin but it would take a few weeks because I will be busy.

I don't recommend merging the Context and Impact sections.
"Context" gives the user some background information that helps them to understand the content of the cable. "Impact" contains all the juicy details of the cable, the stuff people want to read if they're just browsing through the site.

In response to your questions: The cable database is on the same server, and synchronises from Leakfeed.com. The Infobox, Tablegate, and Dropdown extensions all use this database to filter, browse and categorise cables. By keeping this information in the database instead of on the wiki, it prevents the source material being vandalised and takes off a load of work. I am hosted on GoDaddy.


If you want to do this, I could redirect my site to yours, and you put up a notice on the front page saying we are all developing a new system together (CableWiki, CablegateWiki & Kablesearch). We would then use my hosting to develop the new system and launch it on cablewiki.org when we're ready.

I think those are some very good ideas. The problem is, I have neither the time nor the nowledge to do this with the current ammount of support comming from the community. I've spent a lot of time in this project and I hoped that it would encourage others to do so, too. This worked in the first few days but now the support has slowed down. I've put my heart and soul into cablewiki and I would love to see the site grow, but I have other things to do, too. So I hope some of you will volunteer to help us with a merger. Otherwise I will have to leave the site as it is. But if enough people would contribute, we'd have the chance to create a new system on our own server, so we'd have much more possibilities than now. I think we could create something really powerful.
So, what do you think of it?



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