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Wiki Wrangling

This is a place where you can talk about and plan ways to coordinate, reorganize and contribute information in our Academic Commons Wiki.

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Wiki Design

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  • Hi Elizabeth,

    I looked at them all carefully and was unimpressed with all of them. If I had to select one, it would be Appropedia because its layout is the most logical and visually pleasing of all of these of them. (I like the way most of this wiki’s home page is taken up by three colum The BlenderWiki’s home page looks the least like Wikipedia, but it is very cluttered and unattractive.

    I’ll keep looking for effective wiki home page setups too.

    Thanks.

    ~Karen

    I agree with Karen: I prefer Appropedia.

    Well, none of them are to my taste aesthetically, either. One of the best looking MediaWiki installs that I’ve seen is WordPress’s version (http://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page), simply because its design is so well integrated with the rest of the site (click through a few of their tabs to see the consistency of the theme). In the end, I think we’d be well advised to follow that example and to make our MediaWiki styling match the styling of our main blog. We’re actually not that far off right now.

    Design by committee is almost always a dubious proposition, anyway. What I think a group like this could be much better suited to doing is thinking through the ways in which we might make the wiki a more robust area of the site. Here are a few questions we might consider, at least at the beginning:

    1. How can we better organize and restructure the wiki so that information on it is more visible and more useful? In what ways can we improve its semantic functionality?

    2. What can we do to better encourage members of the site to make use of the considerable number of collaborative options that a wiki affords?

    To help us answer those questions, I’d like to ask members of this group to consider our current usage of the wiki and to brainstorm ways in which individuals and groups on the Commons might use it productively in the future. I’d also like to ask this group to think about MediaWiki extensions that we might add that would extend the functionality of our wiki (see the full list here: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Category:Extensions). The Dev team will have to vet the code of any extensions we decide on, but we should take advantage of the fact that we’re using an open-source tool and extend it to meet our needs.

    I think that the wiki could potentially be one of the most vibrant areas of our site; thanks to all of you in advance for contributing to this effort to improve it.

    I like the top part of Ballotpedia with the bottom layout design of Appropedia.

    Anonymous

    Hi Everyone,
    Thank you all for your feedback. I’m on board with Matt. His comments
    support the overall goals of this group (a place where you can talk about and plan ways to coordinate, reorganize and contribute information in our wiki). I do think the first forum created here is important in that it is getting us to think about how
    we visualize our wiki information and how we can imagine it to be
    better. The mediawiki examples I posted are definitely more separate from a site as a whole (and not what we want) but do consider how other sites organize their information, display links to search or navigate, and use color or fonts to reach out visually.
    I would like to continue this discussion thread here but refocusing it to Matt’s
    first point- “How can we better organize and restructure the wiki so that information on it is more visible and more useful? In what ways can we improve its semantic functionality?”.

    I have create two other forums, related to this discussion, and will send a message through the wire.

    We can certainly make our wiki more amazing through our joint input!

    Anonymous

    Also,
    Maura messaged me here in the AC and had some ideas she didn’t mind me sharing here:
    “I’ve wondered whether it would be wise to change the right navigation bar a bit? It might be more useful to folks new to the Commons to have the Search and Navigation boxes at the top, followed by Views and Personal Tools. And in the Navigation box, maybe a reordering of links, e.g.,
    Wiki Home
    Create a New Page
    View All Pages
    Help
    Bug Reports
    Requested Features
    Recent Changes”

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