OpenWetWare:Organizing discussion pages
Discussion Topic: What is the best mechanism to organize all the various discussions taking place about OpenWetWare itself. (At this point I am leaving it up to the various scientific communities on OWW to organize their own discussion areas).
Proposal: There will undoubtably be many discussion taking place about the various areas of OWW at any given time. Due to the large number of discussions it will be impractical to organize all these discussions on one page in the community portal (or one discussion board). Instead, discussions about various sub-areas should live on the talk page associated with that area's 'main page' (e.g. materials, protocols, main page, recruitment, etc.) As an example I have reformated the protocols discussion page into a rough example of this. The key point is that each sub-topic is a subheading of Talk:Protocols (e.g Talk:Protocols/Tags).
Community Portal: In this scheme the community portal will address the problem of: How do we encourage users to move from just editing in their "lab space" to contributing to communal protocols, materials, etc? Thus, the community portal will point to the main disucssion sub-areas (e.g. Talk:Main Page). It will also point to a few "hot" discussion topics in those areas (e.g. Talk:Main Page/Appearance) -- largely for recuitment purposes (i.e. "look how active the community is!"). It is largely intended to be a jumping off point for new 'power users'.
Example of use: So how would a 'power user' utilize this scheme to keep up to participate in discussions on a daily basis? If I was interested in participating in development of the Protocols and Main Page, I would include 'Talk:Protocols' and 'Talk:Main Page' in my personal special:RecentChanges. If I was only intersted in a sub-category of another section, then I would include only that (e.g. 'Talk:OpenWetWare:Presentations/What to wear?').
- RS 22:44, 6 March 2006 (EST): I totally agree that discussions pertinent to a particular page should be on the Talk page of that article. In some sense, adhering to this convention is really just a matter of discipline and convention on the part of the community. But to me this doesn't solve the problem of where general discussions should go. For example, you've created a page Talk:Protocols/Tags but really the tags idea is a general OWW-wide issue. At least as far as my own proposal for tags goes, it would involve all OWW pages. So categorizing it under Talk:Protocols isn't really reflective of the discussion. Thus, I still think we need a central discussion area for issues generally pertinent to all of OWW. I also think that they should not be categorized under the steering committee as some are now because that falsely implies that you have to be on the steering committee to participate in the discussion. In my opinion, the greater need in terms of organizing discussion is on these topics that focus on OWW wide issues.