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#1 WortGames

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 10:02 AM

I've been having a look at the wiki section, and a couple of thoughts have struck me (apologies to all if I've missed something in the process).

Firstly it occured to me that the wiki could use a section for the 'storing and serving' of beer, which could contain threads on subjects such as lagering, kegging, bottling, priming, counterpressure gadgetry, glassware, pouring, tasting etc - things which are not related specifically to extract / partial / allgrain brewing.

Then, in looking for the appropriate place to suggest this, it occurred to me that the 'wiki topics' section of the main forum could use a more generalised thread, for general suggestions and overall 'steering' of the development of the wiki section? If so, maybe this thread could be moved there and become the start of it?

Edited by Wortgames, 28 February 2007 - 10:08 AM.


#2 PistolPatch

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 02:32 AM

Absolutely great to see you bumping the Wiki Wortgames :beerbang:

The Wiki is a great idea and Dane has obviously put in a great effort into setting it up. To make it the brilliant resource it can be is now up to AHB members and it will be impossible unless we have some conversation - something you have made possible.

I started to reply this morning as I've been thinking about the Wiki for quite some time but I came to a halt as I couldn't think of a new Wikki header.

Since then, I've re-read your post several times and now have a few thoughts, some random ;) on the Wiki in general...

Wikki Topics: Maybe the Wikki topics should follow the relevant forums? For example, in your case above, most or all of those topics could go into a Wikki section called, "The Common Ground." This could in turn link to the actual forum (see below). It would blend in well.

Starting a New Topic is Currently Too Hard: A new development has occurred today - the Wikki is now not moderated. I'm not too sure that this is a great idea. For a start, a couple of people here sometimes publish fiction as fact. More importantly, I don't think it overcomes the major problem of people not contributing to the Wiki...

For most people, starting an authorative post or thread, let alone a Wikki topic, is very hard. You might be pretty sure that what you've got to say will be valuable but you're never comfortable...

If I've got a consolidation of existing material or something new to say, the first thing I think is,"Why hasn't someone else done this?" So, I usually wait for someone else to post, wait too long and then forget it, or post it after I've had a few beers! (Often I do this in reverse order!)

When you do post, you feel embarrassed as you always have a sense that you are blowing your own trumpet or making yourself look good even though you are really only possessed by brewing enthusiasm.

So, even though the Wiki has been opened up today, I'm still too scared to post there though at least it and Wortgames have motivated me to write these thoughts down. Certainly wouldn't have done it otherwise.

Sure, there are a few things I would be confident to post in the Wiki. For example, the BIAB Guide and A Guide to Mashing and Batch-Sparging (with a few modifications) I think would be great and I'll whack these in when I get time. But, it shouldn't be up to me to do this. Other people should decide what goes in.

There are countless threads/posts that currently exist on AHB that are brilliant and should be in the Wiki but we can't expect the authors to 'blow their own trumpet' by copying their material into the Wiki especially someone that is new to the forum but may have some great info.

About a year ago, I remember posting on AHB or maybe writing to a moderator that a, "Most Informative Post/Thread You Have Read," thread be posted on AHB. Not too sure what happened to that but I think something like that is now a good idea.

There are also other brewing ideas here such as, 'No Chill,' that no one has summarised.

Maybe... Wortgames, what about starting a new thread? Maybe call it, "Topic: Most Informative Posts or AHB Threads You Have Read. Sub-Topic: Nominate Info for the Wiki"

If enough people respond to a suggested topic or if history shows that the information has been valuable, then the moderators could post it to the Wiki and give the author credit though most authors in brewing would be just pleased to see info spread.

Wiki Topic Development Rather than the Wiki topics being able to be modified by anyone, instead, maybe a link could be given to the normal forum thread. Here, people could discuss and develop improvements to the thread.

This, in effect, would mean the Wiki would not be open and therefore would stay 'clean' and moderated whilst giving everyone a chance to improve it in a thread.

OK, that's enough from me.

If there's anything I've written here that makes sense, and I think there is as I've been thinking on most of the above since I joined AHB, then please act on it because I'll be too scared to in the morning ;)

LOL
Pat

PS: Wortgames, if you do start the thread, I have several recommendations I can think of straight away of things that people have written that are great. There are many more but they'll take me time to look up.

#3 dane

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 07:52 AM

I've been having a look at the wiki section, and a couple of thoughts have struck me (apologies to all if I've missed something in the process).

Firstly it occured to me that the wiki could use a section for the 'storing and serving' of beer, which could contain threads on subjects such as lagering, kegging, bottling, priming, counterpressure gadgetry, glassware, pouring, tasting etc - things which are not related specifically to extract / partial / allgrain brewing.

Then, in looking for the appropriate place to suggest this, it occurred to me that the 'wiki topics' section of the main forum could use a more generalised thread, for general suggestions and overall 'steering' of the development of the wiki section? If so, maybe this thread could be moved there and become the start of it?


Good idea and I've added those sections to the WIKI. THis thread has also been moved and 'stickied' within the WIKI forum.

Absolutely great to see you bumping the Wiki Wortgames :beerbang:

The Wiki is a great idea and Dane has obviously put in a great effort into setting it up. To make it the brilliant resource it can be is now up to AHB members and it will be impossible unless we have some conversation - something you have made possible.

I started to reply this morning as I've been thinking about the Wiki for quite some time but I came to a halt as I couldn't think of a new Wikki header.

Since then, I've re-read your post several times and now have a few thoughts, some random ;) on the Wiki in general...

Wikki Topics: Maybe the Wikki topics should follow the relevant forums? For example, in your case above, most or all of those topics could go into a Wikki section called, "The Common Ground." This could in turn link to the actual forum (see below). It would blend in well.

Starting a New Topic is Currently Too Hard: A new development has occurred today - the Wikki is now not moderated. I'm not too sure that this is a great idea. For a start, a couple of people here sometimes publish fiction as fact. More importantly, I don't think it overcomes the major problem of people not contributing to the Wiki...

For most people, starting an authorative post or thread, let alone a Wikki topic, is very hard. You might be pretty sure that what you've got to say will be valuable but you're never comfortable...

If I've got a consolidation of existing material or something new to say, the first thing I think is,"Why hasn't someone else done this?" So, I usually wait for someone else to post, wait too long and then forget it, or post it after I've had a few beers! (Often I do this in reverse order!)

When you do post, you feel embarrassed as you always have a sense that you are blowing your own trumpet or making yourself look good even though you are really only possessed by brewing enthusiasm.

So, even though the Wiki has been opened up today, I'm still too scared to post there though at least it and Wortgames have motivated me to write these thoughts down. Certainly wouldn't have done it otherwise.

Sure, there are a few things I would be confident to post in the Wiki. For example, the BIAB Guide and A Guide to Mashing and Batch-Sparging (with a few modifications) I think would be great and I'll whack these in when I get time. But, it shouldn't be up to me to do this. Other people should decide what goes in.

There are countless threads/posts that currently exist on AHB that are brilliant and should be in the Wiki but we can't expect the authors to 'blow their own trumpet' by copying their material into the Wiki especially someone that is new to the forum but may have some great info.

About a year ago, I remember posting on AHB or maybe writing to a moderator that a, "Most Informative Post/Thread You Have Read," thread be posted on AHB. Not too sure what happened to that but I think something like that is now a good idea.

There are also other brewing ideas here such as, 'No Chill,' that no one has summarised.

Maybe... Wortgames, what about starting a new thread? Maybe call it, "Topic: Most Informative Posts or AHB Threads You Have Read. Sub-Topic: Nominate Info for the Wiki"

If enough people respond to a suggested topic or if history shows that the information has been valuable, then the moderators could post it to the Wiki and give the author credit though most authors in brewing would be just pleased to see info spread.

Wiki Topic Development Rather than the Wiki topics being able to be modified by anyone, instead, maybe a link could be given to the normal forum thread. Here, people could discuss and develop improvements to the thread.

This, in effect, would mean the Wiki would not be open and therefore would stay 'clean' and moderated whilst giving everyone a chance to improve it in a thread.

OK, that's enough from me.

If there's anything I've written here that makes sense, and I think there is as I've been thinking on most of the above since I joined AHB, then please act on it because I'll be too scared to in the morning ;)

LOL
Pat

PS: Wortgames, if you do start the thread, I have several recommendations I can think of straight away of things that people have written that are great. There are many more but they'll take me time to look up.


The main idea behind the wiki is that an authoritative post on a particular subject has a dedicated home and wont ever be lost in the day to day post on the site. I was initially against opening up the wiki to everyone, but I think this might open it up to more use. The wiki has actually ben unmoderated for over a month and apart from Brewtus has received very little use.

If someone posts something that is wrong or total garbage someone will eventually come along and revise and update it.

When a topic is created in the WIKI and new discussion is created in this forum that allows before to discuss the content further so I think the idea is ok in principle - just need to get more people familiar with how to use it.

Anyway, I thank you guys for the input and I'll be looking at revising things as we go along.

There is a new version planned to be released shortly which will streamline things a little bit so that will be available on the updated site.

UPDATE: I've added the output of this forum to the recent lists so it can get some more attention.

#4 Brewtus

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:07 PM

Absolutely great to see you bumping the Wiki Wortgames :beerbang:

I started to reply this morning as I've been thinking about the Wiki for quite some time but I came to a halt as I couldn't think of a new Wikki header.

Pat,
Just start with something you know about and just did or what you just discovered that you think others would care to know.

Since then, I've re-read your post several times and now have a few thoughts, some random ;) on the Wiki in general...

Wikki Topics: Maybe the Wikki topics should follow the relevant forums? For example, in your case above, most or all of those topics could go into a Wikki section called, "The Common Ground." This could in turn link to the actual forum (see below). It would blend in well.

Starting a New Topic is Currently Too Hard: A new development has occurred today - the Wikki is now not moderated. I'm not too sure that this is a great idea. For a start, a couple of people here sometimes publish fiction as fact. More importantly, I don't think it overcomes the major problem of people not contributing to the Wiki...

For most people, starting an authoritative post or thread, let alone a Wikki topic, is very hard. You might be pretty sure that what you've got to say will be valuable but you're never comfortable...

When you do post, you feel embarrassed as you always have a sense that you are blowing your own trumpet or making yourself look good even though you are really only possessed by brewing enthusiasm.

So, even though the Wiki has been opened up today, I'm still too scared to post there though at least it and Wortgames have motivated me to write these thoughts down. Certainly wouldn't have done it otherwise.

I don't believe there really is anything much to fear. I have always enjoyed reading your long posts. BIAB is a new concept and should be in a wiki. If you put down what you know from experience or what is a technical fact then it must be valid. There are people like me who want to learn by others mistakes (so to speak)

The whole point of a wiki is that the work is best effort, no guarantees, but new ideas, experience and opinions get aired in a logical, easy to access way. It is not a best practice manual or a definitive guide.

Sure, there are a few things I would be confident to post in the Wiki. For example, the BIAB Guide and A Guide to Mashing and Batch-Sparging (with a few modifications) I think would be great and I'll whack these in when I get time. But, it shouldn't be up to me to do this. Other people should decide what goes in.


If you think it could help someone, put it in. Don't be shy.
If you want to find out about it, start a thread and put in what you think you know and wait for people to add to it. Ref Toucan Brew.

If there's anything I've written here that makes sense, and I think there is as I've been thinking on most of the above since I joined AHB, then please act on it because I'll be too scared to in the morning ;)

LOL
Pat

PS: Wortgames, if you do start the thread, I have several recommendations I can think of straight away of things that people have written that are great. There are many more but they'll take me time to look up.


The most important part is have fun doing it. I hope this helps.

#5 WortGames

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 10:30 PM

Hi Pat, don't worry, your posts have inspired me plenty too - I feel a lot more inclined to pick apart a detail, safe in the knowledge that 'no matter how pedantic I get, Pat's posts are still longer'...
:beer:

I think the point about something like a wiki is that it isn't about who KNOWS the most, it's about who will put the effort into writing it down. A lot of people simply can't write all that well, and a lot of people simply can't be bothered. If you feel inspired to document and explain something that you have a general grasp of, that inspiration is pure gold in my book and anything you put down will be valuable. At the very least it is a building block that can be refined later, and the 'worst case' scenario is that someone will come along and correct you, or engage in discussion - which is a win-win if you ask me!

I'm not exactly experienced with writing wikis though, so I'm not totally sure of the protocols involved in editing etc - I also tend to grasp something better from seeing a number of examples, which is a bit tricky at this early stage as there aren't many 'meaty' entries yet - but you've got to start somewhere, and I'm happy to dig out a couple of my recent discussions and see if I can't distill them down into nutshells to post.

Whether we're any good at it will remain to be seen, but at least we'll be having a shot.

If nothing else, it would be great to have an easy source of permalinks to refer newbies to - it's the nature of online forums that they often ask questions first and search never, and at the moment it's a choice of either ignoring them, doing a search for the same old questions again, or telling them to do a search themselves - none of which is much fun really
:(

I do feel that the wiki should be essentially 'practical' though - I don't think there is really much point in reinventing 'how to brew' (though it can't hurt, I just don't think it is a priority). From what I've seen, most questions fall into two categories:

1. things like 'where can I buy' or 'how do I make' - essentially, topics requiring Australian and possibly even regional answers, involving local products and suppliers;

2. things like 'what is BIAB' or 'what is no-chill' - essentially, AHB-centric concepts which may or may not be subject to further development, but which are part of the culture of this forum.

Therefore I'd suggest that these would be the best kinds of subjects to focus on initially?

#6 Zizzle

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 10:58 PM

I'm not exactly experienced with writing wikis though, so I'm not totally sure of the protocols involved in editing etc


The way I think it should work is that people reveiew articles they have some knowledge on.

If you see a bit you disagree on, you make an edit. Not to delete the other opinion, but to ADD, point out, and make the argument for your own.

Now if you disagree with the entire premise of an article, then you should probably consider starting your own page on the subject, and perhaps link to if from the original.

The main benefit of this to me as an AHB member is conciseness. I don't have to read the 100 page discussion on a subject to see the differing opinions. Think about some assertion made early in a long thread, and it being debunked many pages later. The debunking can easily be lost in the noise.

The hardest thing is to maintain perspective. Case in point: the no-chiller method works well for many, but there may be some small weight to claims of problems with butulism. In my opinion it should rate a small mention, with the odds associated of it happening, unlike the dozen of pages devoted to it in the forum.

#7 PistolPatch

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 08:35 AM

Dane: Thanks for your comments to my 'thinking aloud whilst having too many beers' post above. How's this for something sensible?....

To increase awareness of the Wiki, how about starting a thread called, "Latest Wikki Articles," and have this appearing in the Latest Threads box.*

I say this as I had a look last night (took ages being on dial-up at the moment) and saw all the work that has been done. Wortgames wrote a brilliant article on Kegging but it only had 2 reads in 24 hours. i.e. No one has read it whereas hundreds would have if they were aware of it.

(I just linked his article in another thread so it will be interesting to see how many hits it gets today.)

I was just thinking that having the above would be a quick way of getting people to click on articles as they are posted and increase their awareness and use of the Wiki.

One other thought was maybe having a thread, once again that would appear in the Latest Threads box, "What Articles Would You Like to See in the Wiki?" Maybe this would help to encourage people to write something or suggest an existing AHB post that could be copied to the Wiki. It would also maybe show what areas people are finding it hard to get info on.

I better stop writing now but thanks for the comments Brewtus (top work), Wortgames (ditto) and hi Zizzle (who got his way with the unmoderated Wiki ;))

Cheers
Pat


Edit:
*This 'Latest Wiki Articles' idea came from the EBay items thread which helps keep members aware of what is on EBay withut them having to constantly check it. People could also subscribe to that thread to be kept up to date of Wiki article additions.

Edited by PistolPatch, 02 March 2007 - 08:42 AM.


#8 WortGames

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:10 AM

Regarding the 'new wiki topics' thread idea, I think it might be better to simply create or bump the associated wiki entry discussion thread whenever a new entry is made or an existing one edited. There is a link to the associated forum entry on every topic, or if one doesn't exist, to create one automatically using the correct convention, and this would allow interested parties to view the new entry/edits and comment, and those not interested in a particular entry wouldn't need to view the thread or get involved.

It might result in a bit more 'wiki' related traffic in the main forum, but we can address that separately if and when it becomes a nuisance. Personally I think it would actually help in 'flocculating' certain discussions into a central point - for example, all future discussion on a topic that already has a wiki entry may as well take place in the associated wiki entry discussion thread - this would represent more useful, centralised data for the wikians and future searchers, and it would also reduce the number of redundant duplicate threads posted in the forum.

Essentially, if a newbie asks a question that is already covered in a wiki topic, then he could be directed to the wiki entry, and if he has questions that aren't answered in the wiki he should probably post them in the associated topic discussion thread, where the topic 'owners' and others can help out and then modify the wiki accordingly in the light of any holes or new information.

I think it would be very hard to keep any brewing discussion OUT OF the wiki topic discussion threads - once brewers begin to debate a point it's almost inevitable - so it seems to make more sense for it to become the 'master thread' on any particular subject.

Does this seem reasonable?

Edited by Wortgames, 02 March 2007 - 11:18 AM.


#9 PistolPatch

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:30 AM

I didn't realise until now that the AHB Wiki: Discussion Threads appear in the Latest Threads Box if someone starts one. Mmmm...

While, if everyone who wrote an article started a discussion thread then it would alleviate the need for the "Latest Wiki Articles" thread, I'm thinking that a lot of the stuff in the Wiki will not end up needing discussion and therefore the creation of a new thread for each article may create unneccessary clutter compared with a post tacked onto a "Latest Wikki Articles," thread.

It's a bit like if everyone started a new thread every time an EBay item came up. So, this could be a problem - not sure???

In the meantime, to attract contributors to the Wiki, I still reckon the "What Articles Would You Like to See in the Wiki?" thread is a good idea. This thread could have even been used for that but a certain person wrote 2000 woords in Post #2 which will have put most people off. Good on me :rolleyes:

#10 WortGames

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 12:07 PM

Personally I don't think it would be such a nuisance for each new wiki topic to start a new thread heralding its arrival - new threads are created all the time for far less worthy subjects! The thread titles are automatically generated to a convention and therefore easy for people to ignore if they choose, and they'll soon drop off the radar if there's no immediate discussion. Ideally, the person who submits the entry would make the 'announcement' (unless maybe Dane could set the board to generate the discussion thread automatically upon submission of a new wiki entry, thereby automating the announcement?), and hopefully one or two members might feel inclined to pass a friendly comment on the new offering.

To use your eBay thread analogy, it would be like having separate threads entitled 'ebay items - coolers' and 'ebay items - fonts' etc - in other words, it's only a new thread the first time that particular type of item appears, after that every new cooler or font would get announced in the 'ebay coolers' or 'ebay fonts' thread as appropriate.

The total number of posts (and the total number of times an 'ebay thread' popped up) would therefore be exactly the same, but instead of it being the same large thread every time it would be one of a number of more streamlined options that are more closely tailored to the subject, and therefore easier for members to ignore or open (presumably depending on their current level of interest in coolers or fonts).

In fact, while we're on the subject, this might even be worth doing for the actual 'ebay items' thread... hmmm...

Edited by Wortgames, 02 March 2007 - 12:17 PM.


#11 Brewtus

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 08:41 PM

Is it possible to put a table in the wiki? I tried to convert the info on dried yeast into a table with my best html, which is pretty crap, an failed dismally.

#12 WortGames

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 09:28 PM

Hi Brewtus, it doesn't look like it unfortunately.

The best bet might be to convert it to an image. You can 'print screen' to the clipboard, and then paste it into some image editing programs (eg photoshop). There are also print-to-image programs that let you produce an image from any printable application - they usually load and work like a virtual printer.

If that's all too hard though, you could just attach it to the entry as a separate file, and maybe someone else can do it.

#13 Brewtus

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 10:05 PM

Thanks Wortgames,

I wanted it so others can up date it but it still looks smart and easy to read.

#14 Phonos

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:55 AM

Why not just add the info as an excel spreadsheet? That way people can update the attachment and re-upload it.

#15 peas_and_corn

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 12:58 PM

Maybe it'll be good if there was a 'requests for articles' thread in the wiki section so people can post what topics they would like to see in the wiki

#16 Brewtus

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 09:20 PM

Arhh, the power of the Wiki has started....

I see that 'Toucan Brew' is now becoming the common way to describe using two cans of goo to make a brew. It may not have been in the wiki first but it is making it a common term.

Here is your chance to make your favorite term the preferred term. Come on guys, put some creative articles in the Wiki and make the words you have made up the standard term.

#17 Ross

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 09:29 PM

Come on guys, put some creative articles in the Wiki and make the words you have made up the standard term.


go on tony - put up an article on using "Rice Gulls" :D :D

Cheers ross

#18 mika

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 09:32 PM

Pumpy should put one in about Gravel filter beds :ph34r:

#19 PistolPatch

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 12:02 AM

Was just having another quick think on the Wiki...

One thing the Wiki doesn't have is a complete list of articles. I was thinking that there is empty space underneath the Quick Search table on the Wiki home page. Perhaps this could be utilised to have a scroll down list of all topics in the Wiki?

For the reader of the Wiki, this would not only provide a quick 'jump' to an article (which is a big advantage when your computer or internet connection is running slowly) but it would also give a quick overview of what articles have been written and may be of interest to the casual browser.

For the contributors to the Wiki, having such a list would enable fast identification of knowledge gaps without having to go and look in each category individually. Every time I get motivated to put something in the Wiki I seem to come to a halt. On reflection, I am sure this is because I don't have a good overview of what has already been written. I can't 'see' the overall picture and so don't feel confident in posting. My web pages take over a minute to load so for me to get a complete overview in its current form is quite time-consuming. You also need to do this time-consuming exercise regularly to maintain your overall picture. So, my enthusiasm seems to vanish quite quickly - I can't stand waiting for pages to load ;)

Anyway, this is just a thought and I certainly can't see a downside to having such a list.

For all you guys who have been doing such a great job here - good on ya! Everyone owes you :super:

Pat

Edited by PistolPatch, 27 April 2007 - 12:03 AM.


#20 peas_and_corn

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  • Joined 13-September 05

Posted 02 July 2007 - 05:03 PM

I agree with PP, but perhaps this can be achieved as a link in the TOC?