Forums: Index > Watercooler > State of the Wiki

Things are looking good, as the media hype begins to die down. I hope that we have already played some small part in helping get calm reasonable information out to people.

I'm thinking that this news story is not over. I've seen several experts say that it is likely that this flu will go into hiding until fall and then re-emerge. When it does, whether there is 1 case or 100 or millions, there is going to be a lot of media attention. I think that our continued work here, just keeping the place up to date a bit now and then throughout the summer, and staying in touch with each other so we can all come back in force when the need arises, is a good idea.

What else should we be doing now? It seems inevitable (thank goodness!) that this wiki is going to become somewhat inactive for a time, and come back in the flu season. How do we best prepare? Should we all get on a mailing list together? Try to have a phone call in September to discuss the situation?----Jimbo Wales 16:08, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Even if Swine flu doesn't attract the same attention as it has, there will still be people looking for information on flu in general, especially if there are any more outbreaks/epidemics/pandemics. I think it would now be safe for us to move into a new phase of operation, so to speak. Up to now we've rushed to get the latest information on the wiki, inclusionist-style. Comprehension and style have been secondary, and policy is non-existent. We're also lacking loads in the most basic articles, such as Flu. Now the pressure is off, we can start working towards thorough, accurate, well-written and well-presented content, in the style of wiki projects.
Momentum is important. If we all jump ship and agree to come back in a few months, that wouldn't be great. Agreeing to meet up (whether we leave or not) is perhaps a good idea, and a mailing list or similar would be a useful way of achieving that. I think this wiki does a great job, and even if it saves one life or calms one hysterical family, then it's worth our while. Gboyers talk 17:15, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, my attention is now riveted to the subject of influenza, I have a long attention span and it's not media-driven -- in fact, it's only been intensified by two weeks of monofocus on humanity's efforts to deal with a situation in which we have all been acutely reminded of our vulnerability, mortality and interconnectedness. I've gravitated in the direction that I tend to gravitate -- i.e., collecting and cataloguing basic resources and reference materials. And I'm a completist, which means my work is never complete. (I found a flu prevention brochure in Galician today, but am still scrounging around for something substantial in Basque other than a measly press release.)
I would be happy to be part of a mailing list to discuss continuing developments.
I've been working for the past several days developing a list of every country in the world, national and state Ministries of Health, major urban health departments, official policy documents on influenza and pandemic preparedness, influenza research centers, NGO's, etc. I created Countries of the world and a talk page for it this morning, using a little placeholder text; I plan to plug the table into the page later on today. As before, most of my edits will display as an anonymous edits from one of a shifting cast of Hughesnet IP addresses, since I'm back home with the satellite connection again. -- 19:34, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

State of the mediaEdit

"Swine flu" is still in the top ten subjects on Twitter, for what that's worth. I send somebody (influential and much-followed, I hope!) a plug for this site every day or two. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:46, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Mailing listEdit

Good idea. Has advantages where people are working on different pages and have no other way of being easily alerted to developments that might interest them or questions they could help with. One can look at each main forum's listing from time to time; however, if one forgets to, there's no automatic alert as there can be with a page on one's watchlist (which never contains new articles or forums). So a mailing list is a good idea; would have let Jimmy write just one invitation to this forum instead of half a dozen. Jimmy could set up the standard list in a jiffy, I expect. We could have a page about it and mention in the standard Welcome message, as Genealogy does. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:46, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

I've created one here. Please leave a message on my talk page if you would like to volunteer to be the list admin. Angela@fandom (talk) 13:26, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

It was clear that Kathleen was showing no sign of slowing downEdit

Something new every day even on the pages I've been editing. And it's good to read her above report of ongoing activity. Plenty more there for me to help structuring, I guess, and I'm nowhere near finishing the parts I know about. She and I have no reason to ease up. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:46, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Excellent! I'm busy most of this week but I'll be back doing what I can next week (and off and on this week)...----Jimbo Wales 08:22, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Quality and scopeEdit

I agree totally with Gboyers above. An unhurried but steady move in the direction of quality and comprehensiveness. More copying from Wikipedia might be a time-effective strategy.

This isn't the 2009 H1N1 wiki, although that's what started it. It's already an all-flu wiki. Hmmmm - are we overlapping too much with other Health Wikia? w:Category:Health?

Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:46, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that Kathleen's work on collecting resources in different languages is really important, and potentially extremely valuable. My guess is that the media trail will go cold over the next few months - regardless of what it is doing in Asia. So if we were to try to combine the resources with a 'flu watch' then the wiki could be seen as a calm, information resource. I've joined the PROMED [1] mailing list, which I could attempt to summarise and use to update the wiki. History would indicate that the new strain will either die down or re-emerge as a bigger problem. So I think I'm suggesting we focus on three directions:

  • understandable technical information on the new H1N1
  • links to resources in as many languages as possible
  • a 'state of the virus' summary.

Any thoughts? Richard Rothwell talk 10:18, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Good, Richard. Your first direction may need specialists, and/or copying from Wikipedia. Kathleen still has links to find, and I'm supporting some of those pages; remind me to do more with language pages! It would be great if you could update the prominent pages every few days. Front page and continents and H1N1 page, anyway, and any country where there's a marked change of state. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:36, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Up-to-date stuff - fairly high priorityEdit

I recently moved or copied the H1N1-specific stuff to the H1N1 page and noticed that the table copied from Wikipedia was a couple of days old (as far as I could work out from the abbreviated date indication). I guess it's easy to copy, and I'm willing to help anyone less wiki-savvy who's willing to keep it up to date. Is anyone "responsible" for it? It's the sort of exceptional thing that is so prominent that we ought to keep it current so as not to turn away visitors who might realise if it were really out of date. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:46, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Some tedious-looking copy jobs would really help KathleenEdit

Please look at Talk:Africa, Talk:Europe, and Talk:Oceania for a couple of hundred copying jobs that will make each country page much better and reduce the work needed to update country-specific information links. The other three continents are further advanced and have about half as much work remaining but would be a very welcome place for someone to turn attention to after the first three continents catch up. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:36, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

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