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chuck it up and sort it out later

Hunter by Morgan Sutherland.

  • Go niche! Encourage the niches. The broad and wide is a fabulous goal, but hard to do.
  • Pay people. Not sure what this looks like yet. It's probably not money. Think of it more like a trade, or a barter system or some form of promise. See these: , and more importantly, this: The PROMISERVER. Capital is changing, it too is become "social" (the art/music worlds are often highly dependent on a type of "social capital"), a sort of micro-economics will emerge in online networked societies where the value of our time can be traded/contracted for more than just monetary recompense. This is about sustainability of a big project that requires work -- can we really rely just on peoples' "free" time? content4Edu project (is that the right name?) is a possibly a great start in this direction.
  • The Watchlist function of MediaWiki sucks!! See any other social networking environment for examples of far better indications of change, activity, presence, etc. ( is my personal fav). My User page, or part of my user page should be an overview of my work, my edits, related edits, content/projects I'm watching, people I'm watching, and a way to see who's trying to contact me and (-- thanks to Graham Wenger for this idea --) who's working on stuff that i may be interested in consuming/producing. I should have the option to receive some kind of digested email of all this action as well... call me on the phone, txt me ... something other than the current email that I'm getting. (I'll take this job on... show me the code!)
  • As much as Wiki is Web2.0 the interface is pre-Web1.0!!! For years I thought that was some kind of flower back there, but I now realize it's supposed to be a book! What's a book got to do with it anymore?
  • Get rid of the monobook skin (aaah, i see - "book"); it's horrible and makes us look like Wikipedia. See: #WikiEducator_Information_Design.2FArchitecture
  • Resolve the CC-SA / GFDL issue so that we don't have to keep talking about it with the Wikiversity guys.
  • Merge with Wikiversity? Or at least forge a stronger relationship -- they're all over the place, but they've got the 'brand' with them, and that's powerful. They've also got some really good ideas in the pipeline like integrating VOIP with pages so that potentially (plus a Firefox extension) you may be able to call/talk to mentors related to projects.
  • RSS for each page and simple ways to get it out. YouTube was popularized not because people had to come to YouTube. YouTube came to them. Same could apply here. See: Leigh's Vision
  • Editing -- all the workshops, tutorials, and face-to-faces still don't overcome the idea that the editing of pages freaks the average punter out!!! I'm cool on it .. but i've been doing it for over 6 years now, almost about as long as you can. This either means integrating a more WYSIWYG editing option in here or exploring some of the options for external editors, like eXe perhaps or a browser plugin.
  • Unlikely that we'll get some kind of promise/micro-payment model going in the short term, as we're not even sure what one would look like yet although there's a few emerging. So, short term we need to "reward" people in order to keep community going. Barnstars is one way -- initially inspired by Meatball Wiki but adopted as well by Wikipedia. Making people sysops, beauracrats (hate the name), etc...
  • We probably need a development version of MediaWiki going so we can test out and discuss new extensions. This needs to be available to a wider range of people with the skills to install things on shorter notice than is currently available - we want to be able to move fast to be on the edge.
  • Liquid Threads -- not too sure how I feel about Liquid Threads. Idea definately has it's place for some content but do i want my User:Talk page to be Liquid Threads... not really.
  • SVG based Ogg player! Man i want this... there must be people out there who want this too?!!! (or is is just me?) Technically challenging perhaps but would be super-cool! We'd be first on the block. Wikiversity guys would drool over this as well.
  • the Atom/RSS feed from Recent Changes is 'orrible! It shows diffs for cryin' out loud. I have a hard time reading diffs inside the Wiki environment and i don't want to read them in my Aggregator/Feed reader.
  • Old things made new: See: Bloom Clock Project on Wikiversity.
  • Should we have somewhat more 'formalized' relationships between actual Institutions so that we start building potential for cross-institutional work/relationships. eg. a node endorsed by Otago Polytech and a node endorsed by a polytech in Ghana -- result is that they possibly both start working on Chainsaw Maintenance? Otherwise we still risk a kind of 'lone ranger' where it's just individuals from institutions that are working on this project; we want some kind of buy in but it doesn't have to be $ it can be the acknowledgment that 'time' on this is valuable to the institution, to learning.
  • Is there a Tipping point?
  • ... and speaking of which, what's with all the content? Content changes far too rapidly to be our only real value point in all this. Wikiversity doesn't really want content; they're getting it but you can tell they're a bit embarrased by it, by people just putting up content -- they're encouraged to go visit Wikibooks instead. Which I think is correct. They don't want to be a library... they want to be the quad or the professor's office hours.
  • Which would take us to a fundamental question of any information architecture: who is the audience? who are the users? It's somewhat problematic to try to 'architect' in the wiki space, but I think it can be done.

Opportunities for eXe as an offline editor for MediaWiki / WikiEducator content


We are considering making the native file format that eXe uses to save packages the IMS Content Package. Currently eXe uses it's own file format that is useful only within eXe and is not very 'human readable'. This format is exported into a variety of formats like IMS Content Packages, SCORM 1.2 packages, HTML pages, or iPod Notes format.

Switching the file format to an IMS Content Package may also mean the possibility for eXe to support the import and editing of IMS Content Packages generated by other systems; anything then that could export an IMS Content Package could in effect then be edited within eXe. Our idea is currently to work on modifying MediaWiki to support an IMS Content Package export of a selection of pages or to export a group of pages (like a project or tutorial). Similar functionality is already present in other wikis, notably MoinMoin which will export a selection of pages as docbook. Something similar may already be in MediaWiki. An IMS Content Package export from MediaWiki could then be used in eXe to facilitate contextualization, printing, export in other formats (SCORM 1.2, Web Site, text file, iPOD notes, XML) as well as for import into LMS systems or other repositories that understand IMS CP. It could also export again as MediaWiki format. We feel that IMS CP is a preferable specification for the simple exchange of content over something like SCORM. SCORMs complexity and lack of standardized implementations makes it less desirable for this task.

We believe that think that MediaWiki do an export that is appropriate for eXe rather than use eXe to gather the content in. The GUI for such a task would be difficult on the eXe side and seeing as eXe is primarily an offline tool, not so desirable.

Templates are a powerful feature of the MediaWiki environment and can as we have seen be put to multiple uses: see Rob Kruhlak's work on quizzes, or the boilerplate templates for indicating the completeness of resources. But, the syntax can be quite complex. eXe's notion of iDevices could be turned into a way to simplify the creation of templates for MediaWiki users. Templates that are unique to a particular wiki could be turned into iDevices within eXe. So, for example, if you were frequently editing for Wikiversity and they had some templates that were unique to them it would be simple for an iDevice to be created within eXe to facilitate editing/exporting for Wikiversity. In fact such an iDevice could be a download available from the Wikiversity site for use within eXe.

eXe should have a MediaWiki markup export. This may happen in the near future, regardless of what happens with the above.

We need about $240,000 NZ...?

eXe is now available in 24 languages. That's a big deal -- in fact, as far as Open Source contributions go from third parties, language translation is by far the largest contribution of time and effort. (The 25th language - Ukranian - should be added next release, followed by an offer for Hungarian.) We currently have 2 African Languages.


my input to Wikiversity redesign:

A way forward might be to just start weeding a bit; there are, for example, 5 links on the Main page to Browse! I'd also suggest that we do try to avoid the strictly 'traditional' categories here; there's no point is saying that we'd like to blur the lines, then just go and redraw them again because we can't think of anything else -- I'd suggest that a Main page act more as a way to facilitate peoples information seeking behaviour - which includes more of a 'what do you want to do here?' than a 'who are you?'. I, for example, don't consider myself a student in this environment, rather more of a constant 'learner', i'm certainly not a teacher (I'm somewhat skeptical of the ability to 'teach' in this environment anyways) and at best I may be a 'mentor' or a 'guide' if called upon to do so, and often I might even be more inclined to act as a sort of 'staff' member -- would that be a portal, Portal:Staff? --BrentSimpson 08:11, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

WikiEducator Information Design/Architecture

Redesign & Information Architecture Notes

The fundamental questions of any information architecture: who is the audience? who are the users?

It's somewhat problematic to try to 'architect' in the wiki space, but I think it can be done.

Your Vision Here!

My vision would that WikiEducator can be well promoted as a resource and repository for educators to build and contribute their content, resources and expertise for the wider good. It would be good if as topics or pages are created, key words could be detected and a "Someone else is working on a topic or idea similar to yours. Would you like to collaborate?" Graham Wegner [1] Adelaide, Australia.

Graham, thank you so much for your comment! That's a great idea and i will be certain to bring it to the table. See one of my points above about wanting the User page to be far more rich and informative. I want something more akin to a social networking platform like my user page in the wiki, where I know where the action is taking place and just who is having a good time -- and if i'm reading your comment on my blog and here correctly this also entails that this action comes to you rather than you always having to come here. The "portal" truly is dead in a way .. it's all about personal portals ... p's and l's and e's all throw in in our case. brent 08:31, 9 April 2007 (CEST)