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posted on May, 30 2005 @ 05:13 PM
Hello all,

A few times in the past the idea of utilizing the wiki format within ATS has come up. Just recently, with the return of Winston Smith and his posing the question of how we can improve or recapture the collaborative spirit at ATS, sardion2000 mentioned the wiki idea again. This got me thinking about in what way it could be implemented here. I was thinking that initially the intrinsically non-linear wiki format might be most advantageously used in the research forum.

From a post of mine in Winston's thread:
"ATS has become a vast database of knowledge, but that knowledge is spread across thousands of threads, and you have to do quite a bit of shoveling to sort the diamonds from the coal. That's why the Wiki approach would a great idea. This thread is not the first time the idea has come up, but perhaps in the past it was placed in the too-hard basket, as I'm sure it would be a major coding undertaking for SO. The forum reference indexes were a step in this direction, but perhaps we can go further. Within a wiki format, members could submit material on certain topics, issues or events and have it edited and compiled by moderators and/or FSMEs. The format would be static, like the articles on the main page, yet also fluid, in that the content could be updated and changed as new information comes to light, or old theories are debunked. Discussion threads would be where ideas are thrown back and forth, and the grain is threshed from the husk, before being submitted to the wiki file. By this method, ATS could well become the largest organized database of alternative topic information on the Internet. The research forum is great, but when reading submissions therein I've often found myself losing interest halfway through a thread because the information is not organized logically and lacks structure and direction. Perhaps "Wiki@ATS" could even be set up as a separate subdomain."

So I decided to do a bit of experimenting and, using free, open source wiki software, I converted the Great Pyramids research project into a wiki html file.

Here's a couple of screenshots:

I've uploaded the file as a Winzip archive so, if you are interested, you can download the file yourself and play around with it. It's only 40Kb. I'd be flattered if you took the time to have a look because I spent a fair amount of time working on it.

- Go to this upload hut link
- Right click the link at the bottom of the page and select "save target/link as..." to save it to your computer.
- Unzip the archive and then open the html file, it will open in your browser.

In this thread I'd like to hear some suggestions from members about what I could have done better, but more so I'd love to see some general discussion about how the wiki format could be used to best advantage in ATS. I'm not requesting or assuming that it will be implemented, and no staff have been in contact with me over this, I just thought it would be interesting to toy with the idea and see what we can hammer out.


[edit on 2005/5/30 by wecomeinpeace]

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 05:20 PM
A Wiki would be hard to control, because to be a true Wiki itd have to be able to be edited by anybody. So a troll could jsut come in, and wipe out entire entries. If it were to happen there would need to be a system in place for Staff, or a select group of members to review any incoming entries to make sure its not trollish, or being wiped or full of swears or something.

I do like the idea, but it has some drawbacks.

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 05:26 PM
Right, like you said, only either staff, or appointed members would have editing rights. Others would submit material for approval before it is added to the file, and it would be organized, edited and cleaned up by the appointed wiki operators as necessary.

[edit on 2005/5/30 by wecomeinpeace]

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 02:59 PM
I think it's a good idea but as mentioned before any old person can just come in and change the whole thing. I do believe that wikipedia itself has a system backup or something. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that's how it is.


posted on May, 31 2005 @ 03:21 PM
Nice work! I'm glad someone ran with this idea, I just hope it doesn't get overlooked yet again. Personally I believe it should be for those with the Scholar Tag with Moderates granting these Tags.

And yes Wikipedia save EVERY revision, deletion etc etc so that if a troll comes in a changes stuff they can always revert back to what it was before. That's why it's so server intensive.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 04:48 PM

Originally posted by sardion2000
And yes Wikipedia save EVERY revision, deletion etc etc so that if a troll comes in a changes stuff they can always revert back to what it was before. That's why it's so server intensive.

I think you guys/gals are missing my point maybe because you're stuck thinking in the "Wikpedia" mode. This fear of trolls wouldn't be necessary, because results of research would be submitted to persons responsible for editing and compiling the material, whether they be moderators, council members, or nominated "wiki operators". Only those members would have editing rights, thus trolls couldn't jump in and change any old wiki.

Maybe a process like this:

1. Contributors conduct research/write articles.

2. Contributors submit that content to the "wiki operator" responsible for that forum/file.

3. The wiki operator either a) rejects the content, b) requests further editing by the contributor, or c) edits the content him/herself. (Member voting could be instituted in this stage of the process similar to ATSNN).

4. The final product is added to the wiki file by the wiki operator. The contributor's work is immortalized, but can also be edited or updated as need be.

I see that no one has taken the time to download the file I made. Oh well, at least I had fun.
If you did, you'd see that it is different to the classical Wikipedia format. It is non-linear like wikipedia, in that there are major links in the main menu, embedded links in the body, and an overall list of all links on the side. Hence any piece of the research can be accessed from anywhere, at anytime. No more sorting through pages and pages of a thread to get to the info you seek.

However, the difference from wikipedia, and the true beauty of this particular open source code I used, is that links do not direct you to a new page, rather the linked "chunks" of information open in the same page, in an instant, and directly underneath the current one. You can open and close info chunks at will. It's like having every, single post in a thread at your fingertips, but hidden or revealed by your choice, and collated into relevant sections. No waiting for pages to load, no sifting through 14 posts to gather all the information on a particulare facet of the research.

For example if I was at the introduction:

...and then I decide I want to read up on The Great Pyramids first, I click the embedded link, or "tiddler", and bam, it appears instantly underneath the introduction:

Scroll down and I can read the Pyramid stuff:

Then I decide I want to learn about contributor "JediMaster". I click his name and his info instantly comes up in the middle:

If I want to, I can then close any of the open tiddlers or open new ones. I can also use the link list on the right, or the main menu on the top left. Or I can close them all and go to the Theories, Observations and Discoveries part.

Also, all of the content is collected into one, simple html file. The entire Great Pyramids Research project all fit into a 150kb file.

[edit on 2005/5/31 by wecomeinpeace]

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 05:02 PM
Awesome idea. You'll get my Way Above if you can get the admin to put it up.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 07:11 PM
You could just run it like the real Wikipedia? Have certain topics locked down and the rest open for people to edit but a back up of them. So if a troll does that, lock the IP out from doing it again and revert back to the old file.

I had a look at your Pyramid Project, going to read it tomorrow and post on it. Take care till then.

O.H. love the Avatar as well, glad he has had the guts to say that.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 07:14 PM
wecomeinpeace, I did download it and I was only answering a question posed above. I get what you're trying to do and I'm glad your having a good time doing it.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 10:23 PM
With A Dedicated Wiki Team, This Could Work

Wikis are awesome. I link to Wikipedia all the time, and there are other examples of wikis out there that really help to classify and organize data in an easy-to-retrieve form.

Considering how much trouble ATS has with trolls as it is, opening wiki edits to the general membership would probably not be a good idea.

However, a managed team of volunteers could work miracles in terms of opening up some of the hidden wealth ATS contains.

Threads are great for discussion, but are nightmarishly cumbersome when it comes to random access and topical retrieval.

If enough volunteers can be rounded up, and (extremely precious) staff/admin resources to support it can be scraped together, this could be a big win for ATS.

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 02:56 PM
A lot work obviously went into this idea.

Hopefully the Council or DISC can take up this idea to help expand the type of research pages available on ATS.

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 04:04 PM
Where might one offer their services as a volunteer for this, or find out more? Is it even still on the drawing boards?

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 04:23 PM
I think that this would be a lot of help and serious thought should be put into this project. Would surely save a lot of google searchs lol. Also it could actually be a credible source none of these geocities sites.
I realize that this would take a lot of man power, so I am offering my help if need be.

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 04:26 PM
The original link died.
I've uploaded it again here just in case anyone else wants to take a look.

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