Wiki Community/September 2007 Wiki Meeting


The September 2007 Wiki Meeting was held on September 23 at Jeremiah's Tavern. In attendance were PeteB, JasonOlshefsky, Rottenchester and DaveMahon.

The primary topic of discussion was comments, specifically controversial comments that could be construed as libel. This stemmed from a comment about an area business from a contributor who registered with a pseudonym rather than their real name. PeteB contacted the business to alert them to this posting, encouraging them to respond, which the firm did not do. They did, however, send PeteB a note with an aggressive tone, demanding that he remove the comment.

Jason proposed that when such comments arise, we should begin demanding evidence. Ambiguous comments like, "The owner is a crook" will require a lot of details. If satisfactory information cannot be provided, these kinds of inflammatory and unsubstantiated comments may be removed, revised, or otherwise marked. To that end, Peter and Dave joined Rotten as members of the Admin Group, which allows them to ban — an extreme action employed very rarely.

The general consensus was that we should employ both strategies, demanding detailed explanations from posters — particularly anonymous posters — and encouraging the business to provide their side of the story.

We also briefly touched upon marketing because the quality of the wiki improves with more eyes. A few weeks ago, the Director of Admissions at RIT joined the Facebook group and Pete and Dave agreed to contact her to find out what we can produce. With those materials in hand, we can approach other area schools and employers (any volunteers in Admissions or Human Resources departments???). FarMcKon's RocWiki stickers are still in shipping, but they should arrive eventually and Peter and Dave offered to cover the cost of printing more, if when needed.

Finally, we discussed the technical aspect of running the wiki. Rotten proposed implementing a tagging system to simplify finding information of interest, as well as improving the mapping functionality. However, the Project Sycamore code base can be fragile at times which can make modifying the functionality painful. If we can get a reasonable pool of volunteers, Rotten will resurrect the development server and we can begin looking at improving RocWiki's functionality. It should be noted, however, that MoinMoin, the wiki engine from which Project Sycamore forked, is planning on adding database storage functionality (the reason Sycamore forked). Unfortunately, there is no definite timeline for implementation of that important feature, although our best guess is 2009.

The next meeting will be held October 28 at 4pm, location to be determined.