In coming days, the Citizendium Foundation will be receiving extra support from Steadfast Networks of Chicago, as well as purchasing some extra equipment. Our technical crew is adamant that this is needed. It will speed up the presently somewhat slow service, and make it possible to take on board Wikipedia’s images (though we won’t be using all of them).
November 30, 2006
November 29, 2006
November 19, 2006
We’re starting our discipline (subject) workgroups. And we need your help to make this launch work! Please see this Citizendium-L post.
November 18, 2006
I’m glad to see the wiki’s chugging along, not quite as fast as Wikipedia yet :-), but pretty well. We’ve got over 300 active usernames and over 300 “live” articles. I’m particularly glad to see all the new names. And I have to tell you–it’s a weird experience looking at “Recent changes” and seeing nothing but real names.
As you must know by now, I’m ambitious and I sometimes set goals I don’t accomplish in the stated time, but these next ones I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do pretty soon. My goals for the next three days will be:
(1) (help) set up the forums for our first editorial workgroups
(2) (help) create “most important article” pages, and other project pages, for our first editorial workgroups
(3) begin devoting a few hours (straight) every day to wiki work
I’ll do my best, anyway. I can tell you that I’ll be “incognito” again for the latter part of next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. The week after that I’ll be roaring back. Don’t let my absence stop you, though. The more people feel they are able to make substantial progress on this project without my input, the better and less stressful my life is. Honestly, my personal goal is to get this project to the point where I don’t feel I need to make any more input–it’s “up and away,” and I can turn to other things, such as Textop!
November 14, 2006
We’ve decided to change the pilot project application procedure, particularly for authors. Authors are no longer required to have CVs/resumes or supporting Web links–but they are required to supply us with a bio which we will put on their user pages.
This is going to let a few people in who weren’t able to get in before. Here are the instructions.
Sorry no update for a while. That’s not because there’s no news, we’re just very nose-to-the-grindstone. Work on the wiki continues nicely. But the big news actually is that we’ve settled on an initial set of editorial workgroup topics. Now we just need to create forums for the workgroups. We’re also going to get going on major recruitment soon.
November 11, 2006
It is becoming obvious that with the amount of data we have to deal with that our current hardware situation is grossly inadequate.
In English, we need a Database server ASAP! Specifically, We could use a U320+ SCSI Card with True Hardware RAID and at least 4 15K RPM SCSI disk of at least 36GB. Server RAM in 2GB+ sticks great too. Donations of equipment or money extremely welcome.
Send checks to: The Citizendium Foundation, P.O. Box 146, Mount Hermon, CA, 95041.
Technical Team, Citizendium Executive Committee
November 10, 2006
Greetings from the fledgling Executive Committee. My name is Sarah Tuttle. I’m a constable, I’ve been doing personnel work, and now I’m serving as secretary for the EC. There have been some issues raised about transparency and about the need for an executive committee. I think when you see our current agenda (next post) you’ll recognize that 1) there is a ton of stuff, and for us to be ready for our big opening we need to keep things moving along and 2) Lots of groups want to be involved at an institutional level. Hundreds (maybe thousands) of people can’t negotiate at that level. We’re temporary, and we’re here to help get CZ to the place where things are running smoothly. One of the big discussions that will need to happen is a conversation (and decision) about long term governance. For us, in the short term, the job we do will be easier the more involved and invested the community is. We’ll throw things out there, the need for policy or new ideas. But the action is coming from you. We’re like… your administrative office. For now. The community might decide a different structure will work better, and that’s up to you to tell us too. Remember, we’re all in the land of volunteers working towards similar goals.
Without holding out any longer I’d like to introduce you to the executive committee. We’re a mixture of authors, editors, tech folk and constables. We span from the very experienced to below the drinking age (although I think we can all vote, in our respective countries). Come find us on the wiki or on the list. We’d love to hear from you.
The Citizendium Executive Committee (in alphabetical order):
Nancy Sculerati MD
Reported at ZDNet’s Between the Lines Blog:
Google’s Marissa Mayer: Speed wins by ZDNet’s Dan Farber — Marissa Mayer of Google gave a testimonial to speed. Her key insight for the crowd at the Web 2.0 Summit is that “slow and steady doesn’t win the race.” Speed is a huge component and big market driver of Web 2.0, she said. It turns out that fractions of a second difference in returning the main page affects the total time spent on the site and whether users come back for more. For example, when the Google Maps home page was put on a diet, shrunk from 100K to about 70K to 80K, traffic was up 10 percent the first week and in the following three weeks, 25 percent more, she said.
During the 0.5 second a Google search query spends “on site” it touches 300 to 700 servers around the US.
The phenomenom is multiplicative: enabling a faster learning curve. Instant gratification helps drive people to become expert users faster. “If you have each transaction take less time, you have expert users more satisfied. You want lots of small and fast interactions if speed is important,” she added.
It looks like Citizendium should strive for speedy serving of key pages like the Main Page and search results. After all, we want to attract and keep users don’t we? Beyond that, interaction is often piecemeal, with users fluttering from page to page to find answers - a different experience to book reading. The essence of Citizendium is the “text and the wikilink” - the more seamless the onsite navigation the better the experience.
November 9, 2006
Here’s a message I want you to understand and to go forth and propagate to the world, because for some reason a lot of people don’t seem to get it.
It is that CZ is not for experts only. People who are not experts about a topic in fact are free to write about that topic. Not only do they have permission, they are very strongly encouraged to do so. There is a category of Authors and by golly, Authors should get to work.
More from my Citizendium-L post.