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- From: Jay R. Ashworth
- Date: Tue Mar 22 18:10:58 2005
On Tue, Mar 22, 2005 at 04:38:27PM +0000, Michael.Dillon@radianz.com wrote:
[ Me: ]
> > If there were a centralized site to which to contribute such things, a
> > site based on MediaWiki, for example (the engine which drives
> > Wikipedia), would the members of this list contribute to it?
> For those who have never heard of Wikipedia, it is an
> online encyclopedia that anyone can contribute to. However,
> it is not a free-for-all. There is some structure to it and
> it has evolved to the point where where it really does provide
> accurate and comprehensive information at least equal to
> the big paper encyclopedias.
In general, and you can get a fairly good idea of the provenance of a
given fact if you need to rely on it for something.
> It could actually help us solve the problem of getting
> best practices published. However, the Mediawiki tool itself
> is not the solution to the problem, only a vehicle towards
> a solution. We would need a large percentage of NANOG members
> to write (or review and correct) sections relating to their
Correct: we would. I'm a fairly good general and structural editor,
but for this, I'd likely even need for someone(s) to contribute a good
structural framework onto which to hang the necessary information.
Wiki's *do* have the nice advantage that the content is structure free:
you can build and rebuild any ontology around the information that
suits you, and indeed multiple ones (topic index, tutorial, etc) around
the *same* information.
> And Jay, before you put up this site, I suggest that you think
> long and hard about who will run/promote the site. The technical
> aspect of getting MediaWiki running on a server are trivial. The
> real challenge is in promoting the site and getting a high enough
> calibre of contributor. That will mean repeated status update
> presentations at NANOG meetings and a lot of chasing people in
> hallway discussions to get them to contribute.
As far as running it, I was considering letting Wikipedia do it.
They've got a service that the founder of Wikipedia cooked up called
Wikicities; same rough idea as Geocities (centralized hosting, your
content), but they're pickier about who'll they'll start one for (for
obvious reasons). I need to investigate whether they host those sites
on the Wikipedia cluster (where, in general, the connectivity and
support are reasonably good and improving)...
though as you note, installing and maintaining a small one is pretty
As far as promoting it?
If we build it, they will come. Google is your friend. Making clear
what it is and who's writing for it is enough for the second-tier
visitors, and they'll likely word-of-mouth it to the first-tier.
As far as I can see, the fact that it's all in one place makes the
"making the net a better place" motivation more applicable.
> However, it could work and I'm glad that you suggested this
> because it is a nice incremental and evolutionary technique
> to collect and publish the knowledge of the "profession".
I've become *quite* fond of Wiki's for knowledge capture. The ease of
editing and linkage locality of reference they provide make it *much*
simpler for people to post the things they know and believe (though
distinguishing the two can be ... interesting at times).
Not alone because I *am* a network operator (however customer-side and
small) who knows that they don't know everything, it's something I'd
like to see happen. Somehow.
Jay R. Ashworth firstname.lastname@example.org
Designer Baylink RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates The Things I Think '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA http://baylink.pitas.com +1 727 647 1274
If you can read this... thank a system adminstrator. Or two. --me