How to do wiki contributions on the forum?

What is a wiki?

TL;DR

Wikis are community maintained knowledge base articles, enabled by a workflow of discussing, implementing and tracking revisions with meaningful comments, when needed.

Discussing changes

When to start a discussion?

When there are questions about recent #wiki changes or someone simply would like to discuss a change before adding it, then please start the discussion below the wiki article. However, because the content of the wiki is the central focal point, the replies in the wiki thread are automatically deleted, e.g. after 14 days.

Why auto-delete topic replies?

Auto-deletion of topic replies are done to bump wiki articles to the top of the latest topics when a change is added. If replies are not automatically deleted, then the timestamp of the last reply in the thread determines where the topic will be sorted, which is chronologically. If e.g. the auto-deletion is set to 14 days, then a wiki article will be utmost not bump to the top for 14 days if there are no further replies, but there are wiki changes. This is considered an acceptable trade-off. Because we do want to allow discussions, but we also want to maintain the focus on the wiki article.

Implementing and tracking changes

To change a wiki, click on the Edit Wiki button in the upper right corner: Screenshot 2022-07-27 at 20-39-12 TZM logo collection - Activism _ Support - TZM Community Forum

Make your changes as small as possible. This makes tracking changes easier. Also don’t forget to leave a revision comment, if needed. This can be done in the field that says why are you editing?, which will appear when you click on the :information_source: logo in the upper left corner, next to your username: Screenshot 2022-07-27 at 20-41-23 TZM logo collection - Activism _ Support - TZM Community Forum

I was just scared of things being deleted.
In my opinion things should never be deleted, only archived.
I’m solely here on the forum to preserve things and use it as information system.
I really do not understand why the functionality of thread replies, quality content auto-deletion
even exist in a forum software, It should be used in a very rare cases, if even for that.
image
If my replies are about to be deleted, I’m not feeling like wasting time to contribute anything.
I really do not see any justification to mark TZM logo collection thread replies auto-deletable.

The difference is that we’re now in a #wiki topic. The contributions should be done in the wiki topic, not in the thread. That will preserve your contributions. The thread itself is just to discuss changes, such as why do we phrase “this” like that, why not like “this”? And then when consensus is reached, it’s implemented into the wiki.

If we keep comments here, then the topic activity is linked to the last reply here. So if people make changes to the wiki, it will not bump up in the latest posts anymore. And then gets buried, leaving your contributions unnoticed.

So I agree we should build up momentum and not auto delete information. That’s not the intent and also not the result here.

1 Like

I’m not feeling like Discourse forum software is designed well for this kind of workings.
And you can see by the previous post of DiegoJujuy. It is a proof in itself.

Wikipedia works the same, right? The community makes changes in the content. But only when there is a disagreement the discussion is done outside of the #wiki article. The forum works fine, also for wikis. The trick is to leave contributions in the wiki, not the thread. Otherwise it’s also not a wiki, but just a good old thread.

All I’m saying I’m not writing a single post, where it is or will be marked for auto-deletion in a week or a month, or a year. That is really not what I want, nor I find useful for anyone to delete things by design. Even if it’s a very temporal information. To have information preserved is important, to preserve train of thought is important.

I think you have to give it some more thought. Because contributions are really not lost. They are implemented in the wiki itself. The core focus is not the thread, it’s the wiki.

An example of an amazing wiki, imagine if you would have to cherry pick that information in a thread of 200 or more replies, now you can just find all the info in a nice readable structure. It saves time for the reader, you get what you ordered, so to speak :slight_smile:

Yes, but things should not be deleted, they should be archived.

Changes can be found in the wiki, the revisions are there. But look, there are many ways to do this. The Fairphone forum creates meta wiki threads. So threads about the wiki. The wiki itself is a locked post and people can only edit the wiki, not reply. Replies are done in the meta wiki threads. I personally find that messy. That’s why I went for the Discourse method. But this may always change of course. Let’s just give it a try for now?

Let’s just give it a try for now?

This thing is so wrong, I’m not even thinking about giving it a try.
But maybe I’m the only person that thinks this way.
So it’s really not a big loss.
Unless there will be more people that completely oppose any kind of involuntary automatic
deletion of content. (Even if these are the most useless topic/thread in the world, the whole perspective of auto-deleting things is wrong, especially if it deletes valuable things like train of thought)

You’re one of the most active users. So of course it’s a big loss if you’re upset with this design. The reason I ask to give it a try is because I think you need to experience it and see it for yourself how this works.

I understand you don’t want valuable information lost in the discussion. The thing is, the relevant information is documented in the wiki itself. And you can leave a comment for the revision summarizing the consensus and reasoning. That makes it compact, readable and with the revision history also traceable. It’s harder to do that in a thread, especially underneath a wiki post, where the thread itself is not the core focus.

Here’s an example of the Discourse wiki I already linked to. You can see the changes, but also a revision comment explaining the reasoning. A wiki is not a thread, they have different goals and outcomes. A thread is indeed a discussion stretched out over multiple messages. A wiki is an informational article with the goal to inform people in a concise and structural way with community contributions.

And like I said, we can always change this. Things are not set in stone. I just don’t see valid reasons to change this. Also not with the examples you gave here. Nothing relevant in this thread will be lost in 2 weeks. Everything that’s relevant will be kept, maintained and tracked in the wiki :slight_smile:

It (the content) will be lost sooner or later, Discourse is not designed around that, even if it does have some functions. It’s really the perspective and maintainance required that is worrying. It’s all good for few threads, but even then it requires high maintainance or else the information is lost.

I really don’t know why we even have to discuss or write more on this topic.
It’s really simple thing: do not delete content, it’s really not that hard even with the most inefficient information storage systems, since the HDD and SSD storage capacity is over the top brilliant, if we to look at the prices.

I moved our conversation from the #wiki article to here, which is really easy to do. As you can see, if discussions are relevant enough, we can always split them off into a topic of its own and keeping it for the long run :slight_smile: But wikis != threads, knowledge is compiled in the wiki itself, not in the thread. This is time efficient and user friendly for the reader as well.

I think that nobody wants to write something in a forum so that it can be deleted later. Especially if it is much more relevant topics than some off-topic threads that do remain in the forum. In addition, the content of the wiki is as relevant as everything that was previously discussed to arrive at the decision to put that content.

Problem: If the concern is that the wiki can be queried without the messages being distracting, then there shouldn’t be any messages below the wiki at all. But there is always the need to discuss something related to the wiki, for which we would need a separate thread.

Possible solution: On wikis, close the possibility of replying as a thread. In return, always within the wiki post the link to another thread where multiple messages can be written and not deleted. That is, each wiki would have always a separate topic “assigned” (without setting a deletion date or a thread closing date). That topic should have a name that allows us to immediately identify that it is related to a wiki.

It’s indeed possible to do this, the Fairphone forum does this too and calls it meta wiki threads. But in general Discourse forums, including the Discourse forum itself use this auto-delete feature and register the discussed changes in the change comments of the wiki. This is also how Wikipedia works, I don’t think people in general read the ephemeral discussions or miss them when they’re gone. They also check the diffs and change comments, if at all. I suppose most people just check out the content of the wiki.

Let’s first see how it goes and experience it ourselves. Because more active communities that have explored the Discourse functionality more haven’t missed persistent threads for wikis. So far we haven’t had discussions in the wiki threads. The contribution of the images in that wiki should’ve been contributed in the wiki, not the thread. It’s something to get used to. If that was done right then we didn’t even had a discussion in the thread. And the discussion also wasn’t about the wiki content, so it could’ve been a thread of it’s own. Which was made like that afterwards.

Like I mentioned, we can always adopt a different strategy for wiki collaboration. But let’s first try out something that has been working for many years in more active communities.