Been browsing Wikis recently and have a couple of thoughts on the subject that might bear some discussion amongst contributors, admins and developers.
While search is OK, I find it very useful to just browse. With more (and more!) Wiki content coming online it would be nice to be able to browse within a category .. say Boots & Boot Fitting, Ski Selection, Resorts & Travel, Site Membership & Policies, etc. Alphabetical isn't always intuitive.
For example if you were looking for an article on biomechanics, it would make more sense to look in the "Ski Instruction & Technique" category than under "D" for David Macphail On Biomechanics And Skiing
Speaking of Dave (who, BTW, has written an excellent article on biomechanics) it brings me to my second thought ...
NPOV vs PPOV (Neutral Point-of-View vs Personal Point-of-View)
In browsing the Wiki content that's up so far I've seen both NPOV articles (Tips For Buying Ski Goggles as an example, which is not under G for Goggles, but T for Tips .. but I digress) and PPOV articles (such as the aforementioned David MacPhail article).
NPOV articles encourage community contribution and editing, where PPOV articles ... even if they're not locked .. discourage community contributions because you're treading on someone's opinion and, let's face it, we're already opinionated enough to want to contain fighting to the Forum threads!
While I think PPOV articles are equally as valuable as NPOV articles (in some cases more so!), it would be nice to clearly identify them as such. Maybe a simple rule such as title conventions to include the author's name (OldEasternSkier Pontificates on Wikis for example).
One of the articles that jumps out is Family Ski Trip Primer. This might be a valuable subject with lots of community contribution, but this specific Wiki is really Jim Kenney's take on the subject which is biased toward his travels with his family up the East coast.
If we renamed the article to Jim Kenney's Family Ski Trip Primer, we clearly identify it as a PPOV article and might also get another article called Family Ski Trip Planning which could be open to community contribution and provide some different takes on the process.
I know one of the Mods would need to review these and make a call on whether it is a PPOV or NPOV article and that brings up my final point
Clear Editorial Policy on Wikis
Beyond deciding whether or not an article is PPOV or NPOV, there's a question as to whether or not a PPOV article adds anything valuable to the community. I'm sure some Wikis will be culled, but the Mods need to define a clear set of rules as to what's acceptable or not.
Not to pick on Alpinord (I'm a happy customer of Slidewright myself!), but should we allow Slidewright Discounts For The Epicski Community or should we expect this to be consoldated in an EpicSki Community Discounts Wiki? Maybe the answer is that sponsors can create shop specific Wikis and all else go in a generic bucket, but there needs to be some specific guidance for the community ... or else everyone will just start whining.
I know I've used more than my $0.02 here, but happy to hear others thoughts as well ...
**edited to fix broken links
Edited by Dan Gill - Tue, 03 Feb 09 22:37:45 GMT