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Turning threads into articles

Started by Gordon C. Landis, March 06, 2002, 01:22:24 AM

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Gordon C. Landis

So, here's my thought: the threads here at the Forge can get really meaty and really valuable.  But the thread format is not the friendliest for those who weren't participating in the discussion, or for maintaining as a readily-available resorce into the future.

Seems like someone could take (e.g.) the recent discussion of Suspension of Disbelief and turn it into a kick-ass article, suitable to appear (depending on how good a job they did) on many web-sites (GO,, Mystic Ages . . . many, many places), or maybe even in print somewhere.

Now, common courtesy would seem to say two things - 1) Give the Forge a "first option" to put it up in THEIR Articles section, and 2) Make sure to acknowledge the Forge (and perhaps even the particular thread(s)).

Anything else?  I'm looking to do two things here: inspire folks to write up such things, as I think they'd be real valuable, and get some thoughts about what the proper behavior should be - so that there's nothing "in the way" of such efforts.  I might even take a stab at something myself, and I know *I'd* sure want to make sure I "did right" by the Forge if I did . . .


Gordon (under construction)

J B Bell

Well, earlier there was a discussion about a glossary.  Work has in fact begun on it, but I won't get into too much detail yet, except to say a few things:

1. It's using wiki, a document-sharing system that is particularly well-suited to expressing collective wisdom.  In particular, it's using PHPWiki, which has a rather nice look-n-feel.

2. Part of my evil, conspirational intent in getting wiki used on the Forge was with the exact notion in mind you are talking about--getting from a threaded mode into a more finished article mode.

The major problem I see with this is if some authors have strongly proprietary feelings about their ideas, since wikis allow pretty much anybody to edit anybody else's work.  A variety of traditions (and a very few technologies) have arisen to delineate what is a discussion, what's an article, when it is appropriate to sign one's work, and so on, but I won't elaborate on them here.  Check out if you're curious about this.

I think a system like this will maximize benefit, but others may not feel the same way, of course.  It is somewhat less portable than a fully traditional looks-like-print article, since it has some unique conventions, but the ease of participation and improvement more than makes up for it, IMO.  (At any rate, a wiki article is much easier to adapt than a bunch of disparate threads.)

"Have mechanics that focus on what the game is about. Then gloss the rest." --Mike Holmes