This is a follow up to the first post I wrote calling for a better EA database of links.
Submit links for the EA wikia here: https://goo.gl/forms/4JkRviuBBB8iDEDA2
Link to the EA library: http://wiki.effectivealtruismhub.com/index.php?title=Library
Help update the library by using sources from here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-1j_Ta4YufdUkpXOXdxZHllamM&usp=sharing
Help suggest improvements to the structure of the page in the comments below.
Google drive folder I'm using to store all the materials for this folder: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-1j_Ta4YufdSUFneW01MXF6dFU&usp=sharing
I've been tinkering with the EA wikia library for the last few days. Briefly, I liked the wikia option over other choices we had for several reasons: (1) as a wikia page unattached to any one gmail account, it is less likely to be lost in the blogosphere (As compared to a google document, for instance); (2) it seems to have been created almost exactly to facilitate what I wanted to see in a solid database; (3) it's attached to a pre-existing EA institution/website, which means we don't have to add another website to our growing list of EA affiliates. There are some downsides, primarily that Wikia is harder to edit and not as intuitive (I think) compared to a google doc, but I don't think these were strong enough of a case against the Wikia page (I'm willing to be persuaded, though).
I have been trying to find a format that will allow the wikia to absorb more links in the future and be a better platform for a solid collection of EA links. I've based the skeleton structure of the page (almost all of the headings and subheadings are new) based on models of how the community has structured content in the past - e.g. I took the headings of cause areas from the 2015 EA survey, and the headings of the career types from a 80k article. I also stole some heading ideas from Aaron Gertler's excellent original list of articles and generally used it as a source of example links under all of the headings on the page.
From my experience in working with projects similar to this before, it seems important to get the way we format this page right the first time around (especially the way we format each line of each piece of text - we can move existing text around to new subheadings later on). For instance, Gleb_T has made the excellent suggestion that each link be classified as beginner, intermediate and advanced, which I've tried to do on the "Introduction to EA" part of the wikia page. These types of suggestions are really helpful but easy to implement only in the first few steps of setting up a project like this, after which edits can get increasingly difficult.
The biggest concern I have with the current way I'm structuring this page is that there's no natural mechanism for me to deduce which links are the most helpful to read, and then highlighting those links accordingly. Ideally, I'd like a more natural way to sort through links quickly, but besides from creating a Reddit-like forum just to organize links through (I could set up a subreddit, but I'm concerned that not enough people will upvote things through it to make it worthwhile) I don't know what else I can do.
Besides from formatting concerns the other main issue is how this page will be maintained in the future. The Wikia page relatively fine to edit once you've learned how to, but I don't expect many people to voluntarily and directly add EA links to the wikia whenever they find them. I thought the better solution would be to generally publicize a google form for interested EAs to bookmark and submit links through, and then rely on volunteers to add those links [to the actual wikia library. I'm willing to book-keep for this project for now: Over the next month, I will commit to checking the spreadsheet attached to that google form once a week and adding new links to the library. I'll also be working steadily through a to do list to update some other parts of the library. From that time onwards, I will commit to checking the spreadsheet every two weeks and adding new links to the library. I'll review this project at the 2 month mark to see if it still seems like a useful thing to continue. Incidentally I think that updating this wikia could be an activity EA groups meet up to do occasionally in the future (or that student organizations contribute to), similar to Julia's Wiki-a-thon meeting, which I heard went well.
Calls for help
- I'd really like more suggestions on how to improve the line-by-line formatting of the library, similar to what Glen commented in the previous post. Once I figure out a generally good way to format the site, I'll create a formatting guide that can hopefully pass down to future wikia volunteers.
- I'd also like help with improving the readability of the site, and in particular find ways to (1) condense down existing content and (2) showcase the best quality content. On (1), I'd particularly appreciate if anyone knew how to hide sections of the website the way you can on normal Wikipedia pages.
- Other comments on the general structure of the page would also be appreciated, especially if they would require substantial changes. Suggestions on better headings/subheadings for the page would be really useful.
- I'm willing to consider ways to create this database other than the Wikia library but those kinds of suggestions would be most useful now, instead of 1 month from now.
- Most of all, I'd appreciate submissions of links to the website, through the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/4JkRviuBBB8iDEDA2
- Finally, if anyone else would like to help maintain the library page, particularly people who are more knowledgeable about the community / better at using Wikia than I am, I would massively appreciate the additional help.