Buzzpedia talk:Governance

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The Buzzpedia charter currently exists as a draft; it is being developed via in-class discussion and debate. It should continue to be revised until Friday, October 15. At this point, Dr. Famiglietti will resolve any ongoing debates and take any necessary steps to hand over governing power to the students (appoint initial admins, etc.).


  • Upload your proposed charter to the Wiki by adding it to the page Proposed Charter: YOUR NAME, linked to below
  • Read the proposed charters of the student to your left and to your right
  • Be prepared to explain, in your own words, why you support or oppose one point made in one of your neighbor’s charters, based on the argument he or she made
  • Be prepared to ask your neighbors to clarify any points in their proposed charters that seem unclear


Contents

Section A2

Proposed Charters

These are the initial charter proposal response essays composed to begin our debate.

Discussion in section A2

T.O says: Everyone should site their sources and have references for all their facts to allow easy "checking" and to possibly prevent people from copy pasting word for word. response : -there are technological tools such as online sites that can check plagiarism such as "turnitin.com" -archives: source came from online can search phrases with in article. How might we discourage the telephone effect -general outline, editor making a statement as clear as possible . -anyone should be able to edit any article they would like -each article has a designated editor. -implications of one person per article. -how is the class as a whole going to take responsibility for the artifact as a whole? -Discussion page should not be used -using the history to tell who edited your page. -small number of articles needs to be high quality! -assigned a partner that their semi-responsible for Do we want to have formal rules?

Collective Decision Making: -consensus : trying to reach an agreement -Decision Making tactics: -democracy : timed voting. -we need to have a minimum percent -voting is dumb and maybe not every one wants to participate.


Section J1

Proposed Charters

Discussion in section J1

- Possibly use admins to keep the Buzzpedia. Admins could be an authority figure and help make decisions. They could have greater technical powers such as banning people or deleting a page. decisions should be made by different users and them. -Admins could not really have a say but have popular vote instead and they follow what the vote says. -Voting could be a bad idea because it takes discussion out of the wiki. Also makes the situation a yes or no type thing, which defeats the point of everyone discussing their opinion. -rotation system of admins, or assign them by who contributes the most to the wiki. - Voters could be the one who are the main editors of the page -Conflict could be decided by someone who has not been part of the argument; they could be a fresh set of eyes and then make a decision on the argument that way. -Continue to have debates on the discussion page. It is our on responsibility to be an informed person win discussing. Being informed on the subject would be an easier way to decide rather than trying to debate all of it. -Start out with a 2 to 3 day discussion, if a compromise isn’t reach then move on to a vote. The vote could last 1-2 days also. Having notification on the main page could be a good way to notify people of the discussion and the vote. -Using outside survey sites how could voting fraud or other problems like that be stopped? Do they have anything to stop that? -Use vote as well as a brief statement about why they are voting that way. That proves to everyone that they are an informed voter. -who would go and look at everyone’s votes and their brief description to see which decision would be followed. -Somehow inform people of when the vote is going to occur and when the vote should close -Revisit the concept of having the vote being totally finally, must have some way or situation of being able to go back and debate the situation again. Could use a grace period possibly.

Section G2

Proposed Charters

Discussion in Section G2

  • Consensus-based method of decision making: a page should be utilized for discussions, which will lead to a general consensus. Those who care about the debate will contribute, while those who have no input on the discussion will not invest their time and will not be heard.

- Pros: We don't want to compel people to be involved if they don't care/don't want to be heard. Because the size of the group, a consensus can be achieved (unlike Wikipedia). More reliable content/poicies.

- Cons: In the short-term, everyone has to contribute. Casual users should not be an issue in the short-term.

  • Committee-based method of decision making: committee would argue their points to one representative leader and make decisions within that group.

- Everyone is divided into a committee of their choosing (ie. Plagarism, Images, Sources, etc.). Each committee would have a chair that makes the final decision, but every person in the committee voices their opinion to that chair. Each committee would propose their ideas to a general discussion. However, the discussion would be limited.

- Pros: faster decisions

- Cons: non-efficient method of governance. Who decides topics that are voted on? Who decides the possible positions to vote? Also, a discussion will naturally occur after a debate. What is the procedure if someone disagrees with a committee chair's decision?

  • Some users should have a final say over others and should make final decisions (moderators). Although these people can decide whatever they want, they will not be elected to the position again if they do not listen to the general consensus. These users should have a "hands-off" approach to decisions. These users should be decided based on their activity. A set of formal rules would explain how moderators complete their job to ensure that they have a larger connection and do not solely voice their own opinion.

- Pros: Removes edit wars, vandalism, and extended discussions. Ensures that Buzzpedia does not fall apart.

- Cons: Unlike Wikipedia, which has editors with limited education/background (and therefore needs higher users to edit their work), all Buzzpedia editors are fairly on the same level of education. Nobody should have authority over others if everyone has the same background. Also, who would decide who receives moderator powers? A single user's vote will depreciate the value of every individual's opinions.

  • Vote to elect admins

Continuing Discussion

Our initial classroom discussion identified several areas of concern that need to be fully developed. Use the space below to continue our discussion. Our goal is to reach consensus on the best practices for our project.

The topics and questions below are based on my (Dr. Famiglietti) recollection of our class discussion. Feel free to add anything I forgot!

Decision Making

Several methods of decision making were discussed as possibly appropriate for Buzzpedia. Each of these methods has strengths and weaknesses. Like Wikipedia, we are free to use a hybrid method of decision making, so we should discuss how and when different decision making methods should be used. Of course, if you think a particular method should never be used, you may argue this!

I personally think that Buzzpedia should follow a more consensus-oriented decision making style. This allows for a good amount of discussion about the topic material and results in a stronger (more factual?) wiki article. There was discussion in class today about how the ideal decision making process would combine having a discussion and voting for the changes to be made. I don't agree with keeping the voting phase of this process because the concept of voting is very restrictive. Even though we don't have all the time in the world, there needs to be substantial discussion and the option for future change in every article. Voting does not accomplish either of these. AnziD 18:43, 11 October 2010 (EDT)

If you completely get rid of voting how would you know what the consensus on a topic is? Would it be self-evident? Personally, I favor the type of structure where you say whether you support or oppose and provide your arguments so that the consensus on a topic is clearly evident. Sroka

I like the idea of students coming to consensus without the use of voting. If ideas are generated from discussions such as this one, people will be able to argue their stance on a topic. Also, ideas will develop over time and may not be permanent. A strict voting method will favor finalization of ideas rather than ongoing discussion and change. --Dn3 13:52, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

If we use a consensus or voting method there must be one place where a user can find topics that are being discussed and or voted on. Since topics will probably be up for a short amount of time due to our time constraints all users must be notified of new discussions or votes. Gnacey3

One thing we have to remember is that we are on a serious time constraint. Wikipedia is constantly changing today and has had many years to form. I suppose I am approaching this from a business point of view in that I think of school has a job. For this Buzzpedia, we are "paid" with our grades. In the majority of businesses, decisions are not left somewhat open-ended to be revisited dozens of times; there is simply not the time or money in most cases for this to happen. In our class on Monday, two students proposed the Support or Oppose page similar to that of Wikipedia. These students also proposed the idea that the decision on an issue will have the opportunity to be revisited a certain number of times within a certain time period. I think this is the best idea because it seems like a good compromise for all parties. Votes will be justified through reasoning on the Support or Oppose page; this gives other students opportunities to form their own decisions as to if they would like to support or oppose an idea. And, with some decisions made, we can begin to uniformly shape our wiki. cpowell32

The idea of a support or oppose page is good as long as a reasonable amount of time is given to the community to discuss and revisit the issues. --Dn3 11:29, 13 October 2010 (EDT)

I am in favor of a compromise between voting and establishing moderators. Voting should remain as a method to obtain the entire classes' consent on major changes to Buzzpedia. Major changes can be defined as an alteration that affects every individual such as formatting or changes to the style guide or governance policies. Then, voting would clearly establish a consensus of the class for major changes. This voting process will bring a finalization to major ideas after some discussion (with a set limit of time for each discussion of change) has occurred. In addition, moderators should be established because that process incorporates more discussion based decisions as well as an emphasis on results. The part of the compromise that incorporates moderators will still rely on consensus within each committee. If the moderators do not follow the wishes of their group members, then they will be removed. Hyarosh3 18:51, 13 October 2010 (EDT)

The only problem with having "moderators" or "facilitators" is it requires a small number of students to take an a much bigger amount of responsibility for this project. Since we're all georgia tech students, I think it is easily agreed upon that free time is scarce especially if you're taking more than 12 hours. School is hard enough here, but if there are three people in every class that have enough free time to moderate everything that's going to be going on between all three sections then go for it. I just think that it'll be a little tough finding a strong, reliable group of people to do that. This also poses the possibility of our "leaders" not living up to their expectations, if we all look to a group of people that don't collectively have enough time to really make this thing happen, then where are we now? Even more lost, and unorganized. Voting is going to take forever, unless we have timed votes and just send out emails. The amount of responsibility to send out emails versus monitoring a major project are of a vast difference. If we pursue that route, I'm sure we'd have more people willing and available to take that role . -- Anmarievanwetering 00:00, 14 October 2010 (EDT)

Anmarievanwetering makes a great point. The whole idea of developing moderators is to provide Buzzpedia with a group of people whose objective is to oversee the project, trying to essentially perfect the wiki. In reality, things are not going to be "perfect" on Buzzpedia. However, we obviously want to develop the wiki as best we can; but if we elect a few moderators, is that really going to help the wiki, or will it simply make the wiki look more professional because of the fact we have moderators? Most people don't have the vast amount of free time that moderators will need, so I think we should lean more toward a voting style. We should still elect moderators to help in case of disagreements that cannot be resolved over a long period of time, but voting should be the primary method for improving the wiki.

While I agree that no one wants to have a huge leadership role in this project because it will be time consuming, I think there needs to be some kind of leadership. I think discussions and voting are good ideas and will be good at making most of the decisions but there are bound to be some things that need to be addressed quickly or just cannot be addressed through voting which is where a moderator of sorts can step in and help to facilitate the two sides of the argument until an agreement is made. As of right now, we have Mr. Famiglietti facilitating our discussions in class and we are still unable to agree so once he is no longer involved, how are decisions ever going to be reached without leadership? Cthomsen6

Democracy

What sorts of things should be voted on? Who votes? How? How long should voting remain open? Should a minimum number of participants be required for a vote to count?

I think democracy is stupid! Pburdell 14:10, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
That isn't a very good argument, P. Burdell. Afamiglietti 14:11, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
No, it isn't but this demonstrates how to add to the discussion! Pburdell 14:12, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
I think that each class needs to be adequately represented for a vote to be valid. Taylorskalyo 15:20, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
The most appropriate decision making method in which the Buzzpedia site should operate is by popular vote of an authoritative group. If the site spreads to the population of campus, we will need to have authority, but also a representative consensus of the student body. In this case, as much representation as possible from the three classes shall vote. However, if the site does not spread to the student body, then a minimum amount representation from each class shall participate in the vote. A dictatorship would be detrimental to the site’s success because it would not allow the freedom to express on Buzzpedia. Benshep89 14:53, 11 October 2010 (EDT)

Things such as large scale edits, ambiguous names that garner several competing views on what the topic should be named, and decisions that affect the whole of how Buzzpedia is run should be voted on. (this is just a beginning list) Votes should remain open for at least a day and should continue to stay open depending on the topic. For example if a deadline is coming up the discussion time limit should be shortened so that the deadline can be met. In contrast, for things that don't need an immediate decision, they should stay open longer so that more people can discuss the topic. (Therefore, voting time lengths are decided topic to topic.) A minimum number of participants should be required but measures should be present in case the minimum cannot be met and a decision needs to be made. Sroka

I think that having a democracy in place for the governance of Wikipedia would be the best because all of us who live here are familiar with the popular vote ssytem. Also, with the popular vote system in place the majority of the population will be content with the way things are running. However I do think having a representative for each section would be a good idea in case of a tie. That way all three representatives would have a popular vote that would never result in a tie. Representatives would be one persone voted on by each individual class. Their votes would not count any more than the other, they would just have the previlege of voting in the cas of a tie. So, having the representatives wouldn't create a monarchy or a dictatorship, all governing would still be democratic. Anilsson3 13:35, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

You're assuming that a majority will actually vote. Within the confines of this class, it is possible that most students will vote; however, it is important to future-proof these policies. If Buzzpedia actually spreads to others on campus (considering the work we've put it in so far, I don't see why it shouldn't), we'll get an influx of casual users, and the probability that a majority will vote on issues will significantly decrease. Jmaliakal 00:09, 15 October 2010 (EDT)

Having a popular vote system, wouldn't that be the best method our class could do? Think about how much time we have for this class and this project will be held till this semester. The popular vote on some rules will be selected, and most of the times, the rules majority chose will not be most likely inappropriate. But I kinda think there is a need to have one instructor for going over these processes... I think our professor should be one for that though. SInce he's been more familiar with this project more than students, he will have the best knowledge for this project. jwon32

I feel that a true democracy with voting procedures and the like may not be completely feasible considering the amount of time we have. If every issue that arrises has to be called to a vote, it would take a very, very long time for our buzzpedia to take shape and become what it needs to be in order to be successful. I would propose a consensus based system with moderators and admins, similar to many online forums. Those of you in section G2 have heard my argument in class. You can find my proposal if you want more reading into that. JPMorgan 18:52, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

I also feel that time is an issue when it comes to voting. If we don't have enough time (a few hours for example), people may not check it in time and therefore miss out on a vote. Conversely, if the time limit is too long, it will take too long to make a decision; this becomes an issue when there are a lot of problems that need to be resolved. Another factor we would have to consider is that we get a good representation of the users of Buzzpedia. If only 5 people vote, that's not representing everyones opinion. Maybe voting should only be used for large decisions while smaller ones can be decided by consensus. Alysharudnik

I think that a popular vote is the best way to go. That way everyone that feels something should be a certain way can have a chance to vote towards it. Also, if everyone is given enough time to vote, for example like 24 hours or something, then even if only 5 people end up voting that should still be considered as representing everyone's opinion because everyone knows that there is a 24 hour limit and that there is an issue that needs to be voted on. If they feel strongly about the issue or discussion they will take the 5 or 10 seconds required to actually vote. People that don't end up voting most of the time don't vote because they are fine either way or because they obviously didn't care strongly enough about the discussion to take the time to vote. With a long enough time period where everyone has the opportunity to vote, if only a few people end up voting, it should still count because its on us to vote. Pthakore3

I agree that people should take the time to vote if they feel strongly on an issue; however, I don't think a group of five voters will give an accurate idea that represents the community's opinion. Ultimately, we want everyone to vote. Is this possible, and if so, how may we achieve this? --Dn3 11:33, 13 October 2010 (EDT)
How do you propose doing the vote? and who do you propose count the vote and lay down the decision? who would be in charge of handling the voting stuff? JPMorgan 10:07 13 October 2010
It may not be necessary that everyone on the site contributes to the vote. If there is a specific conflict, then I think that only those who are involved in the discussion really need to vote. We discussed voting directly on the discussion page with either a support or a oppose followed by a sentence or two why. If there is no agreement there, then who ultimately gets the final say? The author? An admin? Mhotle 16:58, 13 October 2010 (EDT)
@Mhotle - Who will be in charge of determining and overseeing these mini polls? Additionally, what's the difference between mini polls about disagreements and simply discussing it on the Discussion Page? It's there for a reason! Jmaliakal 00:03, 15 October 2010 (EDT)
Including only those in the discussion is a good idea. Although I still am not convinced that they may always make the right decision, they generally are going to be the most trusted since they form a continuing discussion on a topic.--Dn3 21:32, 13 October 2010 (EDT)

Consensus

What sorts of things should be decided via discussion and reaching consensus (a compromise everyone can agree on)? Who should participate in these discussions? Does a mechanism need to be established for cutting off debate? How long should debates last until they are cut off? How and when should closed debates be reopened?

Technically, almost everything should be based on consensus; Buzzpedia is a community affair! Debates/discussions should continue indefinitely; however, changes should be made when parties make agreements. If the discussions turn hostile, admins/mods can step in and settle disputes. Jmaliakal 00:11, 15 October 2010 (EDT)

Unilateral Decision Making (i.e., Dictatorship)

When should an individual be empowered to make unilateral decisions for the group? How should such individuals be selected? What sorts of checks and balances need to be established to prevent them from abusing their power?

I think that the only dictator on Buzzpedia should be Afamiglietti--and even then, only until the rest of us have our own governance for Buzzpedia setup. Taylorskalyo 15:17, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
I like the training-wheel approach you're taking, but perhaps it would be better for us, as wiki-developers to go head-on into this task? That way we can learn from our mistakes and make even more improvement. Or perhaps that's just too rash. AnziD 18:51, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
The first thing we should establish is that there will exist a scenario when an individual has the ability to make this unilateral decision. This would mean that Buzzpedia follows a system similar to Wikipedia (of appointing admins, etc). The selection process should be merit-based; those who participate the most should be given the option of being admin first. AnziD 18:51, 11 October 2010 (EDT)

Unilateral decision making might be best left for emergency situations when something gets out of hand on Buzzpedia. Sroka

I don't feel that at the moment, we have enough knowledge of each other's skills to appoint a leader as of yet. Kspoerke3
I agree with Kspoerke. I don't think any one student or a group of few student vs. a whole should have the power of decision making for everyone else. kzaman3
As of right now we don't know who participates the most and who is the most deserving of being in an appointed decision. We need to figure out another way to appoint leaders that is unrelated to skills. One way to do this would be to appoint leaders by personal appointment. Not everyone would want to be a leader because it leads to more responsibilities and a personal assessment of skills. Yet, some still would. This would be one to appoint leaders fairly at this stage. Schin 21:17, 13 October 2010
Like Schin said, it should be done by volunteer, because those who volunteer are the ones who will accept the extra responsibility and they will do the work because they volunteered and want to do it. norangio3
I generally don't like the idea of appointing a single leader or "dictator" because it discourages a community-based wiki. A single person may have authority in special cases, but not over the entire site. For example, creators of articles may have special say in regards to only their article. Mhotle 01:01, 14 October 2010 (EDT)
Mhotle brings up a good point about the creators of each article. Although instead of the creator having some special say within his/her article, an alert of some kind should be sent when any major changes are made to it (changes greater than syntax or grammatical errors). This way one person does not hold a higher position or a greater opinion in dealing with matters of editing. Amontano 19:06, 14 October 2010

I really don't like the phrasing of this section. Some of these views apply to the section about elevated user privileges (i.e. , moderators and administrators) and should not be confused with a sole ruler/dictator. Jmaliakal 00:13, 15 October 2010 (EDT)

Executive Ability

Once decisions have been made, someone will need to carry them out. In some cases, this will require technical privileges on the wiki (admin status). Who should be empowered to enforce/enact decisions? How should they be selected? What checks and balances need to be put on their ability to alter the wiki?

Each class should vote on at least three people who will have technical privileges on the wiki (admin status) to carry out decisions. These individuals should be voted on in each section. The set number of individuals per section with the most votes will be selected as the enforcer's as long as they agree with this role. In addition, all three sections should determine a system of checks and balances for these individuals with technical privileges based on discussion. For example, these students should not be able to delete pages without the user's knowledge and consent. Hyarosh3 21:28, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
If we decide to have executive officers, then I think these people should be chosen based on wiki activity. Those who make the most edits and contributions to the site should earn certain technical privileges. However, I do not think that "executives" should have any more weight in decision making. I like the idea of the roles rotating every few weeks or so because it would allow more broad participation and discourage a dictatorship. Mhotle 13:55, 12 October 2010 (EDT)
The idea that many of us had is that "executives" (i.e., admins and moderators) should essentially serve as arbitrators. Their personal opinons on specific issues will weigh as much as those from a standard user (and they will have the right to state those opinions)); however, they will have the job of make final decisions based on consensus, not their own opinions. Additionally, they will handle additional tasks like locking/editing locked pages, banning users, enforcing rules, etc... Also, I'm going to respectfully disagree with rotations. These superusers need time to settle into their roles. If the site grows or superusers want to step down, then new superusers can be appointed. Jmaliakal 00:17, 15 October 2010 (EDT)
If we really need to have officers, then chosen officials should be chosen based on Mhotle's reason up there. i agree with it. But they should be still selected through votes and ask them whether they are really devoted for positions. Their role on wiki should be every time based on working toward everyone's benefit (adding/editing) since they were chosen from classmates who believed they will do their best to bring checks and balances not just to take advantage of being a 'ruler' jwon32 14:45, 12 October 2010 (EDT)
I like the idea of having it based on wiki activity, because someone who already spends a lot of time and effort on the Buzzpedia will likely continue to do so, thereby making a good admin. I don't know so much as to deleteing a page having to notify the user. Perhaps if it is already a full fledged article. But as of now, there are tons of pages that need to be deleted [Unused Topics] and it is because most of them have no content on them and may be duplicates or extra pages. There is no reason to have to notify someone in these cases. JPMorgan 19:47, October 12 2010
I agree with mhotle and jwon32 idea of executive officers but disagree with how they should be chosen. Everyone should be an officer that way everyone contributes. If it is just three people i think they would contribute the most to the page and the other editors would not participate as much. The executive officers should rotate every couple of weeks. Also everyone should learn the technical side of Wikipedia. Cw34
I'm sorry if I'm missing your point, but doesn't this defeat the purpose of having elevated-privilege users? It's like going back to square one and making everyone the President of the USA. Who would make the decisions? Jmaliakal 00:26, 15 October 2010 (EDT)
I think the class choosing 3 executive officers is a good idea. They would have the power to make trivial decisions that don't need to be voted upon, but I don't feel they should have extra editing powers. Everyone should have the same opportunity to edit as long as it helps the page. The executive officers should be people who know the wiki better and will be good representatives of the site. Alysharudnik
are you meaning 3 officers (or admins) from each class? That may not be enough. There is alot of work that needs to be done, and I think that having a rather large number (perhaps 15 or so moderators and 5 or 6 admins would be a good number) JPMorgan 8:27, 13 October 2010
Although you may argue that 3 is not enough, I think 15 is too many, that is more than half of the class. What does that leave for the rest of class? What is their role? Who actually discusses the discussions if you have more than half of the class is just there to moderate? Cthomsen6
@Cthomsen6 - I think he meant 15 total, i.e., 5 from each class. Personally, I agree that 9 (3/class) is too few, but I think we could get away with 12; however, 15 could certainly work, and it would serve as a reward to active users Jmaliakal 00:26, 15 October 2010 (EDT)
Officers should definitely not hold positions permanently, for many reasons. They may become bored and start to neglect the wiki, and obviously we need officers who will continuously check the wiki. Also, after electing an official, the wiki community may notice a wrong decision was made. Officers should rotate to reduce neglect, corruption, and poor election decisions. --Dn3 21:37, 13 October 2010 (EDT)
That is why we have specific rules on the moderators, to get rid of corruption, neglect and the like. I don't think that moderators should rotate unless there is a problem. If they are doing their job, and are willing to keep doing it, and are doing it well, let them continue. JPMorgan 0:18 October 14 2010
I don't necessarily believe that moderators should rotate but if they can make decisions themselves without consulting with the Buzzpedia community it would make them start deciding to make changes that only reflect their opinion. So a policy needs to be implemented to make sure that moderators take the public's opinion into account.--Swatts 18:59, 14 October 2010 (EDT)
@Swatts -I've stated this elsewhere... The point of a moderator is to moderate discussion, not make choices based on their opinions. Think of a political debate - moderators ask the questions, they don't inject their own opinons. (Although in my opinion, moderators should be able to make opinons that are weighted the same as regular users' opinions.) Jmaliakal 00:26, 15 October 2010 (EDT)
I agree officers should change because the job can be somewhat exhausting but I think leadership needs to exist somewhere and somehow. Cthomsen6

In agreement with mhotle3, I also believe executive officers should be chosen on a merit base. Those who participate beyond the norm are bound to exhibit more passion and have the best interest of the wiki in mind. Executive officers should not have overwhelming power though. Their authority or extra abilities should not undermine the community based structure which we are trying to achieve. Officers should have access to special pages, be able to inform us of issues/voting measures, and be a deciding voice in a stagnant discussion or dispute. Torus12 10:18 October 14 2010

I don't agree with the idea of rotating officers, as long as people agree that the current moderator is "good", we can keep he/she as long as we need. However, everyone should have the right to initial a vote to replace the moderator, this system is very similar with the president election in democratic state. The number of moderators should be limited to one, his/her executive power should be unique and superior than any other members in the class.lliu

Formal Rules

We discussed at least two possible uses for formal rules on our wiki.

Leading by example is a good formal rule. Basically, be respectful of other people's contributions as well as criticisms. Everything we do on the wiki should be to make it better, lets not discourage users by being mean. Alysharudnik

Formal Division of Responsibility

Should page originators be responsible for their pages? Should committees be formed to officially oversee various parts of the project?

A person should not be responsible for the pages they create. The community as a whole is responsible for what goes on Buzzpedia. If a person feels strongly about a specific article they should put it on their watchlist. Jpham7

I think that people should be responsible for their own page and in addition there should be a few committees. People should do their best to make sure their page is up to date with everything. The committees should be there to just police the pages and fix anything that is out of line.Cw34

A person should be responsible for the page they create and trying to make sure to the best of their ability that they don't plagiarize and that punctuation and everything is right. If you say that a person is not responsible for their page then they might rush and be sloppy with it and then it becomes more work for the people who are fixing it, which would be wasting time. There should be a few committees, maybe split up by sections and they should have at least two people check each wiki page for that specific task their section was given, incase the first person misses something. Sroethel3

@ Sroethel, that's very optimistic. The only reason that would work if its forced to make buzzpedia better. I can't imagine anyone trying to make it worse when their grade depends on it. So if we are trying to model buzzpedia on wikipedia (in sense of the general concept of an open free online encyclopedia we) have to assume the contributors don't have their grade depending on the project. Even so, expectations are only expectations unless they are enforced and people are held responsible, buzzpedia won't really function anything like wikipedia as we might want it to. As far as plagiarism and punctuation and presentation goes.... I believe I would support a notion of committee(s) to police these errors/ inconsistencies within the site. check this out: the Board of Edereous section. Fradac

@Sroethel, @Cw34 - I feel you both are missing the point of a wiki. I agree with Jpham7; Buzzpedia, like any wiki, is intended to be a community-based project. Although we are all submitting content to get the ball rolling, it is the responsibility of EVERYONE to make sure content is factually correct, grammatically correct, properly sourced, reads well, etc. As different users/readers check content, they will make changes as they feel necessary. If this wasn't the case, there wouldn't be a point to using wiki software to power the website. To that end, I removed the subsection about "page creators" Jmaliakal 23:58, 14 October 2010 (EDT)

I think we should have at least one person in each class to be some sort of representative. The representatives would be used in case of problems with the popular vote procedures. They could be used in case of tie so they would represent the entire population of the class and vote just them. This way the vote would be a smaller sample size and wouldn't result in a tie if there is one representative in each class because there would be an odd number of representatives. Anilsson3

I feel that the authors of the page should in fact be responsible for their work. It makes them accountable for the quality of their work which will improve the quality of buzzpedia as a whole. It is in fact a community project, but responsible, dedicated individuals are needed. In regards to committees, I feel we should incorporate them to create a sense of specialization and efficiency. Committees can address problems collectively and use each member cooperatively to achieve the utmost quality. Torus12 10:24, 14 October 2010 (EDT)

People are going to do whatever they feel in regards to their articles; for example I'm sure some waited until the night before to complete their first article. Although it would be simpler to give everyone responsibility over themselves, it'd be best to have some group or voice creating a few deadlines. Perhaps have an article's sections due over a set of dates. Regardless, writers need to have some guidance during this phase of the assignment. Mallen

Authors should definitely put their best foot forward with their wiki pages because those pages are reflections of them and their abilities. That should go without saying; our grade is also dependent on our individual work. Because of our limited time to complete this project, committees should have deadlines as previously stated above. This gives everyone checkpoints to complete their work and also gives a bit of structure to the committees. If we decide to use the committee idea, I believe each section should have each committee category (i.e. 3 total grammar committees, 3 total page layout committees, etc.). This should hopefully help to reduce each group's workload while allowing a variety of people to check each page. cpowell32

I agree that writers should have some sort of responsibility over their page. First off, they probably did the most research on the subject since they took the time to write the article. Secondly, if someone edits their page and changes something that accidently changed the meaning of a certain subject or the article as a whole, the author should be able to correct that. I'm not saying that other users shouldn't contribute to someone else's page, I just think that if someone is responsible for their page, they will do a better of job of making it the best article possible. Alysharudnik

For the most part, I agree with this when it comes to the original articles written for this English class as they are comparable to essays; however, it is unlikely that casual users will put such a large effort into creating pages. Because of this, my opinion is to avoid creating a formal author policy. Jmaliakal 01:19, 15 October 2010 (EDT)

side note pro dividing responsibility:: committees, specifically editing/maintenance committees basically gives an incentive for people to contribute and enroll in discussion. It basically pulls together anyone and everyone in the buzzpedia project to discuss issues and ideas in a club of sort. Most members who would participate in such a group would have the same goal in mind, keep buzzpedia flowing with information. Another main effect is the elimination of fear of rules by casual users (less active); they enforce them if the contributor is unable to meet requirements of a acceptable article. Basically the main objective of committees besides keeping buzzpedia clean and tidy, can be a method to promote the one rule above all rules: Larry Sanger’s “Ignore All Rules. If rules make [the contributor] nervous and depressed, and not desirous of participating in the wiki, then [the rules] should be ignored entirely,” -- and an group of editors can clean up. Fradac 12:21, 15 October 2010 (EDT)

I agree that the creators of the pages should have responsibilities over their pages. Buzzpedia is not like Wikipedia, although the creator of the page might not have the most knowledge or information on the topics they created, the creator should at least lead the discussion of the entries to put on the topic because we basically are the leaders in the Buzzpedia, which means we should take responsibility to build a better community on Buzzpedia.--Mcdream331 23:14, 15 October 2010 (EDT)

Formal Plagiarism Procedures

Should editors be required to use technological tools to check for plagiarism? What procedures should be used to deal with someone suspected of plagiarism?


Plagiarism shouldn't be that huge of an issue because each fact needs to be cited with a reliable source, right? All it would take is a little cross-checking with the source/fact in question. AnziD 18:30, 11 October 2010 (EDT)

Not all plagiarism is purposeful, though. We should figure out a way to make sure that every article is re-read by at least 2 other people. Mhotle 13:57, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

This is very hard to deal... Editors definitely work hard to figure out if any article is plagiarized. Anyway, if they find the article that is plagiarized, then the article should be taken down. And the person who did should be penalized somewhat. Maybe they cant add article for short period of time, or lose the authority of contributing stuff to wiki... jwon32 14:49, 12 October 2010 (EDT)

Maybe penalizing those who plagiarized is a good idea, but taking their authority of contributing to the wiki is a tough decision to make. Also, if the plagiarism is accidental, is it really worth it to force them to lose points for their grade? --Dn3 11:36, 13 October 2010 (EDT)
Considering that the purpose of our assignment is to contribute to the wiki and make changes to it, taking away authority if somebody plagiarizes isn't the best route. Maybe the penalty could be reflection in points off their individual grade? kzaman3 11:50, 13 October 2010 (EDT)
We need to be careful when accusing a user of plagiarism because if someone has spent hours composing an article and all of the sudden they are being accused of academic dishonesty, they could get upset and insulted. Perhaps there should be a policy in place on how to address suspected plagiarism, such as having 3 people agree before an accusation can be made so accusations are not thrown around all the time unnecessarily. cthomsen6

I agree, not all plagiarism is in fact purposeful: I'm not sure a penalty should come in the form of grade deduction or anything which initially undermines academic success. A possible route is a required 250-300 word "essay" regarding plagiarism, how to avoid it, and what the legal/daily life ramifications can be when dealing with plagiarism. This route informs the individual who may have made a mistake and it discourages all from committing the offense due to its inconvenience and cause for additional work. If someone does in fact plagiarize a second time, their grade should then be penalized. And with regards to the editors, I believe technical tools should be used. There are some reliable plagiarism checkers on the web which will suffice for our purposes. Torus12 10:30, 14 October 2010 (EDT)

I agree that there should be some punishment for plagiarism. I think making the person caught guilty of plagiarism could start a page on the website regarding plagiarism and a discussion and informative page can be created by the members found guilty of plagiarism. Gnacey3

I agree that the punishment for plagiarism should be something in the manner of writing a paper about it or making a website article about it, possibly even a wikipedia page about plagiarism that shows why it is bad. norangio3

I agree that there should certainly be a punishment for plagiarism; however, I am not sure making a webpage fits the severity of the issue. Should we consider a different means of punishment? User:Hwinter

Yeah, I agree. Gross plagiarism infractions are in violation of the GT Honor Code and should have the obvious penalty of being reported to the office of student integrity. Smaller violations should simply be fixed in my opinion... Jmaliakal 12:08, 15 October 2010 (EDT)
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