Been talking with @jakey about an EM Wiki, and basically, it’s happening.
The Endmyopia Wiki (and getting ideas on how to run it)
Not everyone will know what a Wiki is. A Wiki, is a website developed collaboratively with sometimes hundreds or thousands of contributors, who can all edit pages to produce the best content. It’s a highly delegated, contibution-oriented way of producing really indepth content. If you go to Wikipedia, you can edit and improve nearly any article! The only limit, is yourself.
It should be hosted on https://wiki.endmyopia.org/. It will be freely accessible by all, with the intention of building the best resource for eyesight improvement, and can be expected to appear next month.
This is 100%, through and through, a community project. Everything about how this wiki will work will be decided by the community, which is why I’m jumping the gun a bit and putting this thread out there so we can crowdsource as many ideas as possible
It will run on MediaWiki. The same wiki software that powers Wikipedia and loads of other wikis. The content will be available under a CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Articles on EM concepts, guides written on how to do things, articles about optometry and questioning things. A one-stop shop of sorts for a lot of mainstream questioning, and indexed information. Citations from the blog, and clinical studies on the articles. As helpful as possible, zero arbitrary limits on helpful information. What will be deemed good and bad information to have on here will be weeded out through trial and error, but the idea is as comprehensive as theoretically possible. Anyone can create an article with any title.
Very interested in getting opinions on policies, requirements and stuff. What would your requirements to become an editor be? Do you think there are any content policies that need to be in place regarding what to be written about or how it’s written? Bureaucracy will be kept to a minimum wherever possible, and to begin with there will be a period of lassiez-faire expansion, with no limits on who can create what articles. It’s going to have to move fast and break things, that’s how you cook up a good wiki
Policies for a wiki are found tucked away in something called a namespace, which is a place for a particular kind of content. For instance, Wikipedia has many namespaces, images, templates, talk pages, special dynamically loaded pages, you name it. Technically articles themselves are in the Article namespace. Policies will be hosted in the Endmyopia namespace, or EM for short. For example, here’s one of my favourite policies from Wikipedia, WP:Ignore all rules.
Here’s ideas for policies that will definitely exist:
EM:No medical advice: the most important one. No content that could pass off as medical advice will be allowed. This will be accompanied with a different medical disclaimer which can be found at the bottom of every webpage, telling people to go to the optometrist, this isn’t medical advice etc.
EM:No unicorn farming: policy against things that don’t work. Articles like Palming, Bates method, Ayurveda will be allowed, but any palming advocates here will be distraught to hear the content will be critical, not positive. Stuff like Bates method will have tact though, allowed to have all of the positive features of what Bates did, but modern day Bates method is up for scrutiny. A full picture approach, with EM bias toward what we know works and what doesn’t.
EM:No contemporary scutiny: policy against articles that scrutinise modern vision improvement methods aside from EM. Bates’ and Ayurveda, up for articles. Articles about that other guy and insert Bates teacher here 100% disallowed. Just causes drama, opens up liabilities for defamation, no good
EM:No optometry bashing: likewise, we don’t want to poke the hornets nest of mainstream optometry. We want to win friends and influence people, not steer them away and give them more reasons to sue us. Being critical of mainstream optometry w.r.t myopia is all okay, but no shirt-tearing hate pieces.
EM:For human beings (policy names all liable to change, suggestions welcome): policy that heavily encourages the technical, sciency content to be independent from, practical ‘tha steps’, or ‘how to reduce’ articles. Citations from clinical studies heavily encouraged all over the wiki (just like how Wikipedia does it), but there should not be a heavy and detailed discussion of the mechanism of axial change with diagrams in the middle of the ‘Where to start’ article (brief mention fine).
EM:Mandatory fun (@Viceroy.Sam’s suggestion): articles will be written in a light and comical tone, but not forced way. Articles try to get to the point, but they are not written to the dry and formal style of Wikipedia. Funny images and maybe memes where appropriate will be included, inline in articles. This policy is far more important than people think: information by default is not fun to consume. People don’t want to read information, by at least making it mildly entertaining and keeping newbies guessing what they’ll read next, this will help things along. So, a balance between straight to the point stuff, and whatever good quip or lighthearted gag that can be put into place. Visual gags important.
Any more policies, seriously get in here and let’s thrash it out. Policies that will be lifted from WP include: WP:Ignore all rules, WP:Be bold and WP:Assume good faith, because they’re the pillars on which successful communities are built, and the last one is a maxim for life IMO.
WP:Be bold in particular: Wikis develop faster when people move fast and break things, and make the best changes that they think are possible, instead of fretting over whether something is or is not a good change, and worrying about what others think. ALL changes are backed up in history logs, it’s always much better to risk making a mistake and go for it (to have it reverted), than to not edit at all. The same goes for suggestions on how the wiki will work, and ongoing critique of how it’s structured.
Nothing will stop editors from writing their own policies, which will be dropped/approved as appropriate and on consensus of the community - so alternatively save thinking about policies for when the wiki exists. There will be a ton of boring and more assumed policies regarding use of copyrighted material from other people, article styling, how to treat other editors, how admin tools should be used. All completely editable, this is your wiki.
Why so much thought about policies? The community is sized ~16,500 in the FB group at the moment, Jake’s got 25.3k subscribers at the moment. Hypothetically imagine those numbers at orders of magnitude larger, and you realise the importance of rules in such a project when scaling the number of contributors up.
Criteria to become an editor
The criteria to become an editor should be as easy as possible, with minimum bureaucracy in the way. With that said, it can’t be ‘make an account and get editing’, as we’ll spend all of our days reverting vandals and dealing with trolls.
Current idea to become an editor: a brief questionnaire (questions definitely not set in stone).
Can be answered in either the Forum, Discord chat, the wiki itself, or by email, getting the basics of who an editor will be. For example:
- How much EM experience do you have, where are you at with reductions, if any?
- What areas are you interested in contributing to the Wiki? (foreign language contributors will be very handy)
- Have you read EM:No unicorn farming and are you aware about what it means?
Anyone with a good trust level in the forum can skip the paper-pushing and get instant access on request. Admins can deal with editor requests. Speaking of which
Requirements to become an admin
Vaguely trusted people get admin rights, with huge decentralisation of admin powers as it’s no big deal. The bottom line is that ALL changes are backed up, no one editor can ‘delete the wiki’. It’s far better to have a load of admins that can perform the myriad of tasks that need the powers (approving new members, moving pages, deleting articles, blocking vandals) than to be a bureaucratic monstrosity where everything takes forever to get done.
Adminship does NOT imply authority, or automatic victory in content disputes. It’s just a set of tools.
The actual content, the actual articles that will be written
Completely leaving this up to everyone else.
EM Wiki with the intention of being the best free resource for vision improvement. Annihilate all basic questions once and for all. Information wants to be free, and indexable.
Really want everything to be torn to shreds and scrutinised. Success will lie on everyone being on board with one platform, with a solid consensus on how this will
all be r aun
Particular areas to draw attention to for scrutiny:
- What policies there should be regarding content, policies I’ve mentioned above and any emphasis to put on them. The policies themselves will be editable by everyone, except the legal ones.
- Who is eligible to become an editor. Should there be a questionnaire, what questions should be on it.
- For the English version of the project (primary focus to begin with, naturally), should we use British English or American English? Or all of those other variants…
- Other concerns about the project
- Ideas for essential articles we should make ASAP
- Anything the wiki savvy @Viceroy.Sam can come up with is bound to be good
Will probably produce a nice video series on how to contribute, once it’s up and running.