By Mike Ivanov
25 July 2012
We want to let you know about some really fantastic stuff that's been happening in the LocalWiki world over the past month!
The folks spearheading the TallahasseeWiki project held their first two in-person CampWiki workshops. The idea behind the workshops is to introduce community members to the TallahasseeWiki, get them excited, answer questions and start building out the project.
Their meetup even made the front page of the Tallahassee Democrat!
OlyWiki held its first little in-person meetup. Unfortunately, they didn't take any pictures, so here's a photo of Seth Vincent, the project leader, putting up some flyers around town!
A group of really great folks have started laying the groundwork for an OaklandWiki project, and during the Code for Oakland hackathon on Saturday there were around 30 people digging into OaklandWiki. The group was so large that it was broken into two rooms, one for helping with development / tech stuff and the other for content and planning!
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Raleigh City Council has begun to investigate how to, in its official capacity, best work with the TriangleWiki project! Here's a clip from their recent City Council meeting where Councilmember Gaylord asks city staff to come up with a report on how to collaborate with the project:
Tokyo area, Japan
Thanks to the internationalization work done by Pedro Lima and Nuno Maltez in Portugal, there's been an increasing amount of international interest in starting LocalWiki projects. A couple of weeks ago, Shu Higashi gave a demo of a LocalWiki to a group of Open Data activists in Japan. The best part? He demo'ed his Japanese translation of LocalWiki!
Black Rock City (Burning Man)
Some folks are starting up a LocalWiki project for Black Rock City / Burning Man! It's literally just getting started, but it's such a cool idea we wanted to share it with you!
LocalWiki Organizers mailing list
Organizing a new LocalWiki project or wanting to get started? You should join the ultra-new LocalWiki-organizers mailing list! Be sure to send a little introduction to the list after you've joined!
In no particular order, a few other interesting things that've happened over the past month:
- Code for America made a blog post which made the case that "open data platforms and local wikis are foundational elements..of civic life."
- Philip gave a talk on LocalWiki at the big Wikipedia conference in DC last week. Lots of excitement & interest!
- TriangleWiki and LocalWiki got a shoutout in the Columbia Journalism Review: Building a multi-platform media for—and by—the public.
Tallahassee photos courtesty Bob Howard. Oakland photos courtesy Eddie Tejeda.
1 June 2012
LocalWiki is all about community, and we believe that starts with people coming together and having fun. Here are a couple of recent examples of ordinary people hanging out, having fun and building out LocalWiki projects!
San Francisco parklet ride
A couple weeks ago we were slated to have an absolutely beautiful weekend here in SF, and I thought, "you know, it's gonna be a beautiful weekend — it'd be great if we could just bike around, take pictures, enjoy the beautiful day, and toward the end of the day get on our laptops and work on the soon-to-be-launched SF LocalWiki project!"
So I just threw up a Facebook event, invited some friends and came up with a little came up with a little plan: document all the parklets we encountered on our bike ride through the city.
And we did just that! We biked around, had lots of coffee, ate some delicious baked goods, and took pictures of a few parklets we encountered. We randomly encountered one of the parklet's primary designers and even found a parklet that features a totally awesome beanbag seats and pacman!
At the end of the day we'd made a few pages on our LocalWiki, but more importantly, we shared a fun experience together!
Kitchener LocalWiki Workshop
This is Steve:
After starting out with the basics of how local wikis work, the workshop immediately got people out into the streets — participants toured the city, collecting information about their favorite places, insider tips, and popular spots. After running about, everybody reconvened and had a big local wiki writing party at the art center.
Kitchener photos courtesy CAFKA.
23 May 2012
While LocalWiki's roots are in the United States, we've seen increasing interest in starting projects all over the globe. One barrier, however, has been that our interface is entirely in English. At least it was, until today:
Thanks to the hard work of Pedro Lima and Nuno Maltez in Portugal, LocalWiki is now completely internationalized and can be easily translated into any language!
Pedro and Nuno have started a beautiful LocalWiki project for the city of Porto, Portugal: por.to. So far, they've been using their LocalWiki to collect information about the remarkable architecture around the city:
We need lots more translations! If you'd like to help with translations, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mike Ivanov
29 March 2012
Today we are releasing version 0.3, a major update to the LocalWiki software. We're pretty psyched about this release, and you should definitely upgrade just as soon as you finish reading this! Along with many, many bug fixes and improvements, this version includes two really cool features we're excited to share with you: tags and dashboard.
Get organized with tags
LocalWiki's mission is to share the world's local knowledge, and a huge part of sharing this knowledge is organizing it and making it easy to find. Today's software update makes this easier than ever with tags, a painless new way to organize pages.
Wikis are usually organized by creating links from one page to another and by manually compiling lists of pages that have something in common, like "Vegan restaurants". We love and encourage this kind of careful curation, but keeping these lists up to date is time consuming and boring, and creating them in the first place takes someone's initiative. Tags, on the other hand, are a light-weight and even fun way to group pages together.
Tags are like labels that can be added to a page to make it easier to find. When you click on a tag, you instantly get a list of all pages that have that tag, along with a handy map. And you can even include this list in another page, without having to create and maintain the list by hand.
We think you'll love tags! They are very easy to use, yet they are incredibly powerful. You can tag all of the vegan restaurants with the tag "vegan", or tag all the historic sites with "historic", or even tag pages that need a photo with "needs photo"—the possibilities are endless!
With tags, you have a whole new way to explore your local community. You can read much more about tags in our usage guide.
Visualize your progress
Another major challenge when building a community-driven information resource is measuring progress. How many pages does our wiki have? Are we getting new contributors? How are we doing?
We designed our new dashboard to answer all of these common questions and much more. It shows all of the current stats about your wiki as well as some beautiful graphs of different metrics over time, so you can get an immediate feel for where you are and where you are headed.
The dashboard clearly shows you how your outreach affects contributions, so you can set goals that everyone can work toward. In our latest focus community, the dashboard helped the contributors reach an amazing goal of 1,000 pages by launch day!
You can find a link to the dashboard at the bottom of the "Recent Changes" page on your wiki.
There's so much more we could talk about, but we want you to try the new version for yourself!
If you're using the Ubuntu package(recommended for most users), then upgrading takes just these two commands:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
If you have a developer install of LocalWiki, read about upgrading on our developer site.
14 March 2012
The Triangle Wiki launches with over 1000 pages — more than three times the amount that the Davis Wiki had at its launch. Interestingly, the Triangle Wiki wasn't spearheaded by college students like the Davis Wiki or the DentonWiki. The core group that's driven the buildout of the Triangle Wiki met at City Camp Raleigh and is really far reaching — consisting of everyone from, yes, college students to City Council members.
At over 1000 pages, it can be hard to get a quick feel for the project's breadth. With that in mind, we put together a little random page tour — check it out!
27 February 2012
Whew! A lot's happened since our last blog update! Our first focus community, DentonWiki, has been doing great and several of our other focus communities are close to launching.
Just two days ago, nearly 50 people came together in Raleigh, NC to join a massive in person content-building sprint to build up the soon-to-be-launched TriangleWiki.org. Folks from all walks of life joined in — two City Council members and Raleigh's Chief Planning Director even came by to help out! Read more about the event on our blog.
And our new software has been rapidly adopted by communities around the world. Since our last email, over 182 independent communities have installed our LocalWiki software!
We thought it'd be great to take some time to look back and reflect on our past year. We've put together this report highlighting some of what we've accomplished and where we're headed:
Check it out and share widely!
Philip & Mike