Citizendium Blog

July 25, 2012

Things I like about Citizendium - #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Anthony Sebastian @ 10:35 pm

One of the nice things I like about writing or editing for Citizendium is the availability of ‘subpages’, complementary pages attached to the Main Article.  The subpages give you the opportunity to extend the content of the Main Article without unduly interrupting the narrative flow of the article.

See: en.citizendium.org/wiki/CZ:Subpages

A ‘Bibliography’ subpage lets you extend the references to the in-text citations of the Main Article with a list of annotated further reading items—books, articles, etc. Your annotation of a book, say, could take form of a mini book report, or a discussion of how the book relates to the issues discussed in the Main Article.

A ‘Related Articles’ subpage lets you list, and link to, articles in Citizendium that relate to the topic of the Main Article.  It integrates the topics of the encyclopedia that widen the scope of the Main Article.

An ‘External Links’ subpage lets you list and link to Webpages related to the topic. You can arrange them by category, and annotate.

A ‘Talk’ subpage is a page for authors and Editors to discuss the contents and composition of the Main Article and its other subpages, including questions, suggestions, and critiques.

Those four subpage types are generated by default when the Main Article is inaugurated and are reached for viewing and editing by clicking on tabs in a horizontal menu bar just under the title of the Main Article.

It should not be difficult to appreciate how those default subpages extend the Main Article’s value without disrupting it narrative flow or rendering it unduly long.  But Citizendium does not stop there.  It offers the author a wide variety of optional subpage types to employ for special purposes related to the topic of the Main Article.

Guess what the optional subpage ‘Filmography’ would add to the topic of an appropriate Main Article.  Or a ‘Timelines’ subpage, or ‘Videos’, or ‘Tutorials’, or ‘Addendum’, or ‘Advanced’.

So, as an author or collaborative group of authors, your Main Article takes the form of what Citizendium calls a “cluster”. The cluster renders the topic multidimensional, and gives the reader a multidimensional learning experience.

Neat!

July 15, 2012

Benefits of volunteering time to the Citizendium community

Filed under: Authors, Developers, Editors, Experts, Founder, Funding, Governance, Managing Editor — Anthony Sebastian @ 5:30 pm

All of the registered members of our Citizendium community undoubtedly have some idea of why they volunteer their time helping each other develop our encyclopedia.  In addition to any rational idea we might have for volunteering our time, we all must also have a feeling that comes with it, an emotional reason, perhaps one we find difficult to articulate.

If you were to ask Cassie Mogilner, Zoe Chance and Michael Norton, psychological experimental scientists at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Yale School of Management and the Harvard Business School, respectively, they might tell you this:

“Many people these days feel a sense of “time famine”—never having enough minutes and hours to do everything. We all know that our objective amount of time can’t be increased (there are only 24 hours in a day), but [our] new study suggests that volunteering our limited time—giving it away—may actually increase our sense of unhurried leisure.”

Their thinking is that by giving away time, as in volunteering, you stimulate your feelings of being competent and efficient, accompanying which time seems to stretch out in your mind. You gain time, subjectively, by giving time.

Since we all live in our subjectivity, I’ll go for that kind of “time affluence”.

Get rich in time, join Citizendium, those of you reading this who haven’t already gotten such riches.

See:

PRESS RELEASE: Anna Mikulak
Association for Psychological Science

July 10, 2012

Things I like about Citizendium - #1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anthony Sebastian @ 10:35 am

One of the nice things I like about Citizendium is learning the identities and backgrounds of the people with whom I’m collaborating with during the course of developing an article.  Because all of our authors have registered with their real names, and have provided a short biography of themselves, I never have the feeling that I’m working with strangers wearing masks, hiding their identities for reasons unknown. They are real people. Soon you get to know them as colleagues with their particular talents and passions.

I find it difficult to imagine how I could develop a sense of community, of common goals, with a group of anonymous entities. Yes, ‘entities’, machines, say, ghosts of some kind.

Collaborative writing inevitably takes on a social aspect, warming the project, a little family, usually happy, and if not, always uniquely so.  What a lonely cyberworld it would otherwise be.

July 4, 2012

Citizendium and Independence Day 2012

Filed under: Managing Editor, Recruitment — Anthony Sebastian @ 10:38 pm

As Independence Day shows dimming twilight outside my office window, I find myself thinking rather of ‘dependence’, how Citizendium’s contribution to the organization and dissemination of knowledge online depends on our volunteers, our authors, Editors, administrators, and support staff — volunteers with spirit and capability.  I declare our dependence on each other, we band of citizens.

Providing, free, “knowledge with the highest standards of writing, reliability, and comprehensiveness” takes effort and time, collaborative effort and dedicated time by dedicated people.

I say it’s okay to have fun while we go about it. “[A]nyone who has knowledge, broad or narrow, about any subject “can join this service-oriented fun-filled project-party.

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