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Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Suggestions and comments about SummitPost's features, policies, and procedures. Post bugs here.
 

Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby Matthew DeCoste » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:33 am

I think any changes to make the process easier and allow more input on pages from more people is a must. Doing nothing in not an option. The current process to create pages is very cumbersome right now and needs to change.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby Castlereagh » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:09 am

on the road right now, so I'll make this short.

I would personally be very opposed to a Wiki.

The suggested changes section (with owner approval) might work, but instead of going that far, why not just switch the Additions/Corrections with the Comments section as the one visible at the bottom of the page?

Maybe a "Pages for Adoption" section to specially mark out those pages that have not been updated in years, (and hasn't seen their owners log in in years)...mind you, some of them, though not quite extensive and often lacking that personal/signature touch, do have pertinent and useful information...often enough for someone to gain the summit...but I definitely think the Adirondack pages all could use a lot of improvement. I remember hiking several years ago with someone from Quebec (via 14ers.com); in discussing websites he had dismissed SP as being highly inaccurate and of poor quality, and, since this person lives very close to the ADK's, I wonder if that area is dragging down SP for all who hike in that area.

Finally, I know that if I want more info, particually updated, I'll usually look to the Climber's Log as well. Maybe that could be more visible on a page, or particularly the more updated entries? The only setback to that would be, along with comments, beta below, additions corrections visible, etc, is that all this could serve to clutter up and slow down many pages.

Being more of a scrambler/hiker than a technical climber, I personally have nothing against the current format of routes, but would not be against two separate categories. (I think the website is easy enough to navigate where whether you're looking for a technical route or not, you'd be able to find it fairly easily; a rocker climber would not search Mt. Bross for a technical route, and a hiker would not search Independence Monument for a class 3 scramble). One thing to think about though...going down that route might result in a lot of bickering over whether a route should be technical or not, whether it requires ropes or not, etc.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby FlatheadNative » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:21 am

As a frequent contributor who actually tried to keep pages updated I would support the vision casted by Bob Sihler.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby justahiker » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:40 am

Hi there!

I think that Wiki system of editing the pages would be very disrespectful toward people who spent hours and hours of their time to create some of (to be honest) very impressive pages, like the Dinaric Alps one or Julian Alps for example.

But I'm also for the option of adding an open section at the bottom of the pages, which are in a certain way incomplete or they do not have enough info. I think this would be a good starting point at seeing what kind of difference this would make, i.e. would it be utilised or abused. I do not have many pages of my own, but I would definitely need some help (and additional info) on some of them, so I would take new useful information and incorporate it into the page.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby mvs » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:57 am

Thanks tons for putting this together Bob!

I also created a table in the article page that brings together the ideas from all the comments I got there. If you like the format, maybe we could combine that table with the distilled wisdom from comments here into a kind of "feature idea" table. Check it out here and let me know your thoughts.

I'm also trying out a "mission statement" for the feature idea:

As a technical climber, I deal in lots of small but important details. I don't have time to create full pages, and am more interested in up to date valid information. If I can provide small chunks of it here and there I would find the site more useful.

Let's put that out on the stoop and see if the cat licks it up (rather, lets run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it. :D. Sorry, I just watched "12 Angry Men" last night and can't stop quoting the film :D).
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby visentin » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:14 am

Why not taking into account the algorithms of "people climbing the same things as you" and "suggested mountains" to allow or not allow a user to contribute into a page.

Wikifying is a good idea but must be done with extreme care. The biggest danger is in my opinion... adverts appearing into SP pages.

If any changes are made the priority should perhaps be given for a mechanism that allows editing pages from authors who haven't connected since a long time. For the current time and for all case prior to any change perhaps something could be done regarding the climbing log, number of points and pertinence (based on "people climbing the same things as you" and "suggested mountains")

And, finally, I join my voice to all the others for congratulating MVS. I like a lot the ideas developed there, but I'm afraid the real world isn't as idyllic, and many firewalls will be needed.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby visentin » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:20 am

p.s: Another suggestion: There could be a "taxonomy committee" of competent and recognized users, that could be responsible of re-arranging the SP pages into coherent structures as "volunteers" (Elves are too busy for that and do not always have the knowledge on one area).
Many areas and places are well arranged, but in some other we find oceans of orphane unattached pages, mountain-albums and albums-mountains, and so on. I don't want to blame our American friends but each time I was "navigating" on the other side of the SP Atlantic I had this feeling...
The amount of material is so huge that something really nice could be achieved if the structure was constantly being monitored and reorganized when needed.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby hiltrud.liu » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:36 am

That's all okay: More current technique information and correction of mistakes!

But create an album! That allows an easy collaboration on SP with understanding, feeling and creative energy.

Don't forget: You can capture the atmosphere of a moment in your pictures. Images speak to human nature, images can contact us. Images in a personal environment are the wealth of the SP Community, not a data bank.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby Gangolf Haub » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:59 am

Also against fully going wikipedia. From my experience with pages I shared or handed over to others I'm afraid your expectations are far too high. In most cases people take over and do only minor cosmetic changes - like showcasting their own pictures. More often than not nothing happens at all.

Also I can forsee problems for the maintainers of very prominent pages, mainly the area pages. Take the Dolomites page - since Marko left me as the owner of the page I realized that many see it as the container for any Dolomites related information or picture, regardless of whether there is a subgroup page or a mountain or route page to which this piece of information is more closely related. Maintaining such a page can become a major pain in a wiki style environment.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby DrJonnie » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:06 am

Suggestions:
Allow any SPr to propose changes to pages.
All changes to be via page owner (cut-off time for requests say 60 days)
Allow changes to be made if no response from page owner but log change details on page (date/person changing page/change detail)
If page owner subsequently objects to change maybe a poll of SPrs could be made by the page owner and if a majority agree to remove change then owner could revert to previous detail. (apply cut-off time to poll - say 60 days)

This lot seems reasonably democratic to me.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby yatsek » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:38 am

FlatheadNative wrote:As a frequent contributor who actually tried to keep pages updated I would support the vision casted by Bob Sihler.

As an infrequent contributor who actually tries to keep pages updated yatsek supports the vision cast by Bob Sihler, too. :)
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby Kiefer » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:00 pm

I would have to equally throw my hat in the ring with others in that I would absolutely loathe it, hate it if someone else had edit rights over my pages/content. As Bob and three others have already stated, one of the things that makes SP stand out from a wiki-site and other sites is the 'flavour' or spice each page has in accordance with its' owner writing ability. Some pages (overview) almost read like poetry snippets. When someone can combine creative licensure with factual/statistical employ, that's talent and skill and though not to reward someone like that who writes as such, but to give a stranger edit rights, cheapens that pages' character.
So bad idea to full & open edit rights. No Wiki.

As to term limits in updating beta, this is gonna be a hard one to nail down. Fletch's 90 days is agreeably too short but posing a limit of 1 year (365 days) can equally go too short or too long. Some pages out there as another user already mentioned, simply don't need updates annualy. Some pages, like say, Long's Peak, Grand Teton, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Blanc etc. would definitely stand to profit from frequent changes and updates. I don't know how the elfs would track something like that. Would us users see the time of last update and do something about it ourselves if we wished? Is there coding that would send off a flag to the elfs after a certain amount of time has elapsed? If so, that's a lot to ask of Bob, Gangolf, Matt and the remainder to take care of considering the massive amount of beta on SP these days. I think the X-number of eyes from us users would be substantially better to track these things than the n-number of eyes of the elves.

    * I do like having the "additions/corrections" feature having a greater visibility.
    * I do like having an additional section just above the images on pages for 'other user' added content.
    * I do like expanding the PM system so that users can retain more control about contacting other users in regards to
    neglected or orphaned pages...lastly falling to the elves when after repeated attempts at contact, no relpy is made.
    * I do like having a section on the front page highlighting random users based on A, B, C criteria kinda like what we
    have now for images and pages and articles. We have an awesome community here on SP but often, I feel there are a tonne of users that
    'fall through the cracks', as it were.

That's my .02¢

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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby mvs » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:05 pm

Let me echo something Lcarreau said:

"Summitpost has a uniqueness unequaled by NONE. Why compare it with other sites? That would be pointless, as we're trying to make it BETTER."

I totally agree with this. And my article called Collaborative Summitpost is about allowing people who want to allow collaborative editing of their pages to do so. So many of the replies here seem to take as a premise that we (some of us, me, etc.) want to turn Summitpost into Wikipedia. That isn't true. All of these "strong owners" who maintain excellent pages get to keep doing that (and more power to them).

Secondly, I don't think page personality would disappear if the page has publicly editable sections. Everyone values the fact that pages are written in different styles. And public editing doesn't mean Joe Q. Public, it means a Summitpost member with some power points under his belt. That user isn't going to genericize or destroy the personality of a page any more than he'd want someone doing that to his own page.

Third, for all the variations on prominence of the "Additions and Corrections" page...I'm just not buying it in the general case. All these promises from people that they consult and integrate (or discard appropriately) the advice they get there...they don't represent the general case. Obviously, they are active and interested members (hence their replies on this forum). But this isn't the norm.

Fourth, I've been working and "living" on the web for 19 years. Among the things I've learned, is that comment/feedback mechanisms are highly praised but of little value to the commenter. He doesn't know when, if ever, in general, that his comment will be integrated. A saavy commenter might click on the page owner and look at the last time he logged in. In general, this would cause his spirits to sink even lower. It's more motivating if you sat down and integrated your knowledge. Then you did productive work for the evening. Adding comments to pages isn't my idea of productive work, so I generally don't do it, sorry.

Lastly, there seems to be pretty dim mental image of the "public editor" around here. I contend that this editor looks more like you than you think. Because of the citizenship requirement (say, 20 power points), these scenarios of chaos are overblown. More likely, the editor is going to be educated in the ways of Summitpost, motivated and knowledgable about the problem domain.

Thanks to Bob for hosting this. Thanks to everyone who replied too. I have a strong opinion here, and I value everyone else's strong opinion even though I might disagree. For me, making a strong effort on behalf of these ideas makes me feel good, regardless of the end result.
--Michael

ps - it sounds like the most reasonable consensus at this point is for "Additions and Corrections" to be included in the rendering of the main page, giving that section more prominence. If nothing else can be done, put me down in favor of that. This way, printing out the page to take on the road might at least cover cases like road wash-outs if somebody added a comment.

pps - nothing will change the way people vote...I don't think that even an addressable problem!
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby TLP » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:37 pm

I found the problem for east coast mountains on summitpost is that there are just a handful of guys who own the majority of the pages. As discussed before, the Adirondacks suck in my opinion. One guy has all the major high peaks, the info is old, the pictures are old, and they have basically been abandoned. What good would having an appendix at the bottom of the page do? The main photo for the page is still outdated, and the stuff you see right away is too. Why should I have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find out the latest info?

There was too many guys when this site first came out that went around and quickly made all the mountain pages for the NE. They followed a generic formula for pages, and started collecting mountain pages. Some don't even live on the east coast anymore. Or are not even on the site anymore. I don't see how you can maintain over 100 mountain pages. Or make them all look the same. Or ignore new pictures that were posted.
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Re: Discussion: Collaboration, Edit/Submit Changes

Postby Bruno » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:44 pm

mvs wrote:[...]is about allowing people who want to allow collaborative editing of their pages to do so. So many of the replies here seem to take as a premise that we (some of us, me, etc.) want to turn Summitpost into Wikipedia. That isn't true.

+10!

I think nobody has proposed to go towards a full wiki. I The initial discussion was only about:

1) Allowing current area/rmountain/route page owners to open their pages for edition if they wish
2) Allowing a simple way to open "abandonned pages" for edition when the owner has become inactive (e.g. 1 year without login to SP)


I'm strongly in favour of allowing members to open their own submissions IF THEY WISH. No pages would be turned wiki by force.

Edit: spelling
Last edited by Bruno on Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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