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Old 03-22-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default Contributing to the Cruising Wiki

For a few years now I have been watching the Cruising Wiki with some interest and have even made a few minor contributions to it.

The concept seems absolutely brilliant, especially when so many of the written guides available are out dated. Who better to provide cruising info than those out there doing it.

Unfortunately, while the concept is great, there seems to be a dearth of interest in actually contributing. A quick look at the stats shows that most of the current activity is driven by only two individuals. In the last 3 months there have been only 20 contributors and, apart from the previously mentioned two, the content added has been very minor. Of course, those contributing can only write about the areas they have visited, so there is very lopsided growth of the Wiki occurring.

I would like to see the Wiki grow and up date much faster than it is, but there must clearly be barriers that stop people from adding their own experiences.

What can we do to facilitate the growth of the Wiki? Any thoughts?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:54 PM   #2
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Sadly, Peter, there are plenty of people who see their blogs as their contribution to the cruising community. What the Wiki needs is some people - maybe one or two of these - with a little less ego and a little more altruism.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:12 AM   #3
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Well said. What can we do to attract contributors?
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:06 AM   #4
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Perhaps the first step is to contact all these cruising bloggers to persuade them to register on the Wiki and post updates on the ports they visit (or even create new pages once they're up to speed) BEFORE updating their blogs.

I tried that once with a blogger heading down to the Med and got a rather fusty reply, so I haven't tried since. However, I'm happy to start doing it again. Even if we get 19 rejections out of 20, we'll still recruit 5 new contributors for every 100 approaches.

I think these bloggers should be our main target since 1. they are already reasonably computer literate; 2. they can (mostly!) string words together; 3. they often know how to take a decent photo and 4. they are usually visiting new harbours all the time.

If you and others can help round them up, I'll happily sign them up as Wiki editors.

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Old 03-23-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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If you want to attract the bloggers then let them link to their own stuff. e.g. put a separate section on the bottom of each "location" page where we can link to blog articles about the location, and encourage bloggers to update the location page then add a link to their blog page.

Have the wiki admins award "stars" to links to good or informative blog posts where the blogger has also updated the page.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel View Post
If you want to attract the bloggers then let them link to their own stuff. e.g. put a separate section on the bottom of each "location" page where we can link to blog articles about the location, and encourage bloggers to update the location page then add a link to their blog page.

Have the wiki admins award "stars" to links to good or informative blog posts where the blogger has also updated the page.
Fine - I have no problems with that and I'm sure the other Wiki admins won't. The right place for these links is in the Personal Notes section or, if the entire blog provides genuinely useful information about a country or cruising region, in the External Links section. A few bloggers already do it - take a look at the Portugal country page as an example.

I'd also be happy to give praise where it's due. I accept that we all have egos that need massaging occasionally and I'm no exception. Encouragement = motivation = results.

Where the admins will step in, however, is where people link to thinly disguised commercial pages or blogs, which isn't in the spirit of the Wiki. Thankfully that is a relatively rare occurrence.

Keep up the flow of ideas and let's hope some other Wiki enthusiasts start popping their heads above the parapet.

GORDON
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:09 AM   #7
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This is precisely the discussion that I was hoping to spark.

One thing that interests me is why people make contributions then stop. There are people who regularly use this group who have been major contributors, but who have dropped out. Was there any particular issue?

One thing that occurs to me is that contributing is a lonely and relatively thankless task. Post here and you get a conversation, even if the the reply ends up being negative. Make an entry on the Wiki and your only feedback is the hit rate on your page - no conversation.

Perhaps we could make more use of this group, so that page development doesn't occur in isolation. Post your info on the Wiki and tell us about it here - get some feedback.

Please keep this discussion going - the Wiki is worth it.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:42 AM   #8
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I completed the Port Douglas page for Queensland and tried to give as much accurate information as I could. To be honest there is an hour or two in the page as well as the research to put accurate and reasonable information up. So its not a five minute kind of thing.

I enjoyed doing it because I like Port Douglas and would like others to have a clear impression of the area and to tempt people into including it in their cruising plans.

Next week I leave here on a coastal adventure up to Thursday Island, then across to Darwin via Gove followed by a side trip to the Northern Kimberly Coast. I am not sure where to post about the upcoming trip but if I can manage it I would like to share the experience when I have the time and internet connection.

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Old 03-24-2013, 06:55 AM   #9
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Lex, the Port Douglas stuff looks very good. There is plenty of room in the Wiki for information about the places between there and Darwin. Even the Darwin page could do with some additions.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:08 PM   #10
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Default Getting the bloggers on board

Below is the text of the communication I'm planning to send to cruising bloggers to try to encourage them to register for the Wiki. Obviously, I will only send this to cruisers whose blogs provide useful information rather than ones which are e.g. just a depository for holiday snaps.

I'd welcome any suggestions on the text and, of course, I'm happy for anyone to adapt it for their own use if they wish:


I read the blog of your cruise around XXX with interest and I wondered if youíd considered registering as a contributor to the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki, where you could share the benefit of your cruising experiences with a wider audience.

The Wiki is a collaborative effort by cruisers all round the world to pass on their knowledge for the benefit of others who follow in their wake. Many sections are already the best online resource available, and with the help of more contributors such as you the Wiki could so easily become the most up to date and reliable source of information for cruisers everywhere.

I hope you will decide to register and help update the pages in the XXX section. If so, you would be welcome to post a link to your blog in the Personal Notes section of the relevant pages so that Wiki users can access your blog directly from the Wiki. This is easily done once you are logged in using the format * [http://www.(your blog URL) - Vesselís Name Cruising Blog].

Contributing to the Wiki is simple once you get the hang of it and the Wiki Sysops are happy to help new members in the early stages. Itís also very rewarding to know that your contributions will be helping other cruisers for many years to come - possibly long after your blog has been consigned to history!


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Old 03-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #11
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Gordon, I hope that works out.

Its quite a task you are setting yourself and I hope the results make it worth while.

As Lex has pointed out, it is a substantial task to do a good job on even one page. Because of that, it would be great if the work load was shared more widely and I hope more active contributors come on board soon.

Peter
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svhoneybee View Post
Gordon, I hope that works out.

Its quite a task you are setting yourself and I hope the results make it worth while.

As Lex has pointed out, it is a substantial task to do a good job on even one page. Because of that, it would be great if the work load was shared more widely and I hope more active contributors come on board soon.

Peter
Let's see, Peter. But once we get these hoped-for new contributors, it's up to us the Admins to mentor them and bring them on, since I suspect that's why so many sign on, tinker around (sometimes with disastrous results) then drop out.

As you say, there should be more people creating pages so that the Admins can concentrate on mentoring and editing to ensure consistent standards and make sure the whole thing doesn't degenerate into a mess.

Apart from anything else, we're not immortal and the Wiki really will die if we don't develop the next generation of Admins.

GORDON
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:29 PM   #13
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I think that here we have 2 good suggestions: atheneoflymington's to engage blogers and delatbabel's to award stars for quality and include a reference to the contributor's blog.

I have by own website and a lot of the information that I have contributed to the wiki comes from my site, or used to. Now, I first update a wiki page and then my site. Many years before the wiki I used to do a fair amount of research be fore visiting a new place and afer the visit to keep notes for things not usually included in pilot books such as where to eat, where to get fuel, water, etc. These handwritten notes I kept in a note book, then in my website and a CD. For over 15 years I gave copies of the CD to cruisers I met in the hope that they will reciprocate with information. Very, very few did so. Then, Lighthouse talked me into puting all my notes on the wiki. I did so in 2007-8, again with the hope that others will also contribute.

I was wrong! Only a handful have contributed and some of them continue to do so.

Let us hope that the proposed e-mail by atheneoflymington will do the trick. I for one, am more then willing to mentor any new contributors.

By the way, any of of us can do on-line and off-line research but what really counts is being there and recently. A number of the information that I or others have contributed is several years old. Yet, many cruisers and users of the wiki do read them and go these places. It rally takes very little effort to update.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:35 AM   #14
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Hi guys,

I'm glad to see the discussion here of gaining contributors to the wiki. I've been "out of it" and not contributing much on CL or the wiki. I'd made a promise to myself to spend more time updating or adding pages to the wiki, so I suppose I'll hop to it again. There is no feedback--true. We keep a blog that gets very little feedback but it is more-or-less a diary so we keep it up. The wiki--well, you can add things and then they just get absorbed. That's ok with me but perhaps not so "ok" with all cruisers.

Best to all,
Brenda
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