Hi all,

I had a few ideas about collaborative content creation for the
website and the documentation project recently, and thanks to
Carol's forethought, we have the means to do this at our
fingertips.

Problem: Writing docs takes ages, and there are not enough people
to do it all, and docs often need little retouching at the end
that has to be communicated to the original author, and takes
time to integrate, and so on.

Solution: For a given topic, create a wikipage. Make a start on
it (sketch paragraphs/sections, basically set up the bare bones
of what is needed). And then propose that lots of people make
small contributions to it.

We have a wiki (many people might not know that - it's at
http://wiki.gimp.org/gimp), which allows just such collaborative
effort to take place. On every page in the wiki, there is a link
at the bottom to edit the page. Pages are plain text formatted by
the wiki motor afterwards into nice looking html. Formatting is
very easy - for example, the equivalent of 

<h2>Header</h2>

in the wiki is 

== Header ==

Simple.

The problem becomes how to let people know what docs need work at
that particular moment, and how to get people working on it.
Suggestions to address this point are welcome. 

My idea is to have a WikiWordOfTheDay. A WikiWord is a word made up 
from joining several words together with capitalisation - the word
automatically becomes a link to a newly created (empty) wiki
page. The wiki word of the day (which might not change every
day, and might die as an idea if no-one adds any content) would
be posted as part of the topic in IRC, and mailed (perhaps only
once a week) to the mailing lists to encourage contributions. 

So there's the idea. To work, it'll need the cooperation of the
documentation team, the web team and the user and developer 
communities. One of the things that we need in the web-pages and
the docs now is content - and this is one way of distributing the
load. As I said, any other ideas how to address this problem are
welcome. Objections, for whatever reason, and suggestions for
wikiwords of the day to get things started, are also welcome.

To get things started, here's a first WikiWordOfTheDay:

  http://wiki.gimp.org/gimp/WikiWordOfTheDay

And a second, as an example of the kind of content I'd like to
see: 
  
  http://wiki.gimp.org/gimp/GettingStartedWithGimp

Cheers,
Dave.

-- 
       David Neary,
       Lyon, France
  E-Mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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