CZ Talk:Getting Started

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I hope this is the right place to write about this. If it's not feel free to move it to another page and notify me about the new location.

I'm a long-time contributor to Wikipedia and just joined Citizendium. At Wikipedia we started with zero in the beginning (of course). Here at Citizendium, everytime I want to write an article about a subject, I find that there is already an article (copy from Wikipedia). This makes me feel that all the information is already there and there is nothing I could possibly add.

Personally I'd much prefer to erase a whole article and start writing from scratch. But that would probably be regarded as an act of vandalism.

So what should I do? --Christian Liem 18:05, 18 November 2006 (CST)

If you think you can write a better article from scratch, then go ahead and do it. --ZachPruckowski 21:22, 18 November 2006 (CST)

Old version of this page

I'm starting a brand new version of this page, completely rewritten from scratch. --Larry Sanger 16:08, 21 January 2007 (CST)

If this is your very first visit to this wiki, welcome! And please read this. It'll get you started, and it has some "do's and don'ts" you should know about.

If you've never used a wiki before, finish reading this page first for an orientation, then make the help page your next stop.

What do you want to do here? You should do precisely what you want to do. Since this is a bottom-up project, there is no one telling you what to work on, when. But here are some ideas:

  • Look at the pages that others have been working on, and help out.
  • Start a whole new article! Put the name of a topic that interests you in the search box there to your left on the side bar. Hit Go. If there is an article that comes up, read it and add to it if you think you have something to say. If a notice comes up that says "no article with that title exists", then here's your chance!
  • If you start an article,
    • Do add "[[Category:CZ Live]]" to the bottom of the article. That makes it show up on Category:CZ Live. That way we keep track of what we've done. (Later, that list will be constructed automatically.)
    • Do add a "[[Category:<discipline> Workgroup]]" tag to the bottom of the article: see the list of workgroups. This will help people in that workgroup follow changes made to articles in their area.

Make your user page. We think it's only polite to let other people know who they're dealing with. So, when you get a chance, edit your user page (a link to it will be up at the top of the page) and say a little about yourself. But user pages should be limited to only the following sorts of information:

  • Biographical information (your education, interests, etc.).
  • Articles you have started or are watching.
  • "To do" lists.
  • Other helpful notes directly of personal use to you in your work on the Citizendium.
  • Editors require further information--a link to CV-type information and a list of your areas of expertise. See User:Gareth Leng for an example (sorry to put on the spot there Dr. Leng :-) ).
  • Wikipedians: please don't use "user boxes." CZ discourages standardizing group membership in this way.

Here are a few general hints.

  • To learn the technical means of editing a page on Citizendium's wiki, see how to Edit Citizendium.
  • Everybody wants to know what's going on on the wiki. For that, use the recent changes page (link on the left, not to be confused with "Random page" and "Related changes") is a source of endless fascination. It allows you to explore what other people are up to, help them, and "keep them honest."
  • This is an "alpha" pilot project, which means that things might break occasionally. Don't let that freak you out. Just ask questions if you're curious.
  • Be bold in updating pages! Don't be shy!
  • But be kind and collegial. Among other things, this means that if you edit someone else's work on the Citizendium, you should explain why you made the edits you did on the "discussion" page.
  • Want to discuss general policy, get help, etc.? Don't do that here on the wiki except about particular articles (use the "discussion" tab). Instead, join Citizendium-L and, if you're an editor, Citizendium-Editors (you should already be subscribed, actually, if you accepted our invitation). Also, there's a lot of good stuff in the Citizendium Forums.

Where are the rules? This is a wiki. That means that smart people working in good faith usually don't need rules. But we do of course have some rules that are under active development. See our Policy Outline.

"I'm an editor, where do I go to learn about my editor duties?" Again, see our Policy Outline. An important page to read covers our approval process. Also, as an editor, you can start making decisions about articles in your specific areas of expertise. Simply begin a section titled "Editors' Instructions" (or something similar) at the top of the article's discussion page. If you have some question as to whether you are in fact an editor of a particular article, consult the policy outline, first, and if you have questions still, then contact Larry Sanger.

Why Citizendium at all? Because we love knowledge and love formulating it beautifully. Because the world needs a better free encyclopedia than Wikipedia. Because it's merely productive to respect expertise.

Next stop? If you've never used a wiki before, then make the help page your next stop. But if you have, what are you waiting for? Dive right in!

Request for images

Folks, it would be great if you could find thumbnail-sized images to add to this extremely important page. Wikipedia has a "Be bold in updating pages" graphic we can use. --Larry Sanger 17:22, 21 January 2007 (CST)

I'm working on a graphic, I'll have it posted in a few.--Robert W King 14:26, 11 May 2007 (CDT)
Be Bold!

Any comments? (see graphic to right) --Robert W King 16:33, 11 May 2007 (CDT)

Done for now

I'm done for the next few hours if not for today. Still needs a lot of work. Do feel free to improve it... --Larry Sanger 20:05, 21 January 2007 (CST)

This bit seems to reflect the status pre-unforking:

  • Copy and paste the following text onto the bottom of any new articles: [[Category:CZ Live]]. This adds the article to the "live articles" category (which you can view by clicking "Live articles" on the left). This helps us distinguish articles we've actively worked on from articles swiped from Wikipedia but which we've never edited.

My understanding is that after the unforking, no unedited copy of a Wikipedia article remains, and I'm not quite sure what the point of the CZ Live category is, now.

Also, aren't Citizendium citizens Citizendians now? Or would that be an in-group term?

I'll be bold and change both things for now.

Philipp Rumpf 21:14, 22 January 2007 (CST)

TO DO: copy links to new pages from this document to the policy outline. --Larry Sanger 14:43, 25 January 2007 (CST)


No, please! Do you mean, really, that we want to do redundant work?? If someone prefers to start an article from scratch he can just erase it! But I prefer just to erase rubbish from the wikipedia articles! It's really discouraging to me to see that huge lot of red links. So much work to do when there's already good work done in Wikipedia.... Why unforking? --Jorge Cañizales 22:32, 3 February 2007 (CST)

Comment on Organizing Data

Hello, I think a section should be added on organizing Data. Besides saying tag it with CZ live, should we ask we tag articles with their designated work groups? I'm trying to figure out a successful way to do recent changes on all medicine and biology and chemistry articles... but using related changes on categories on WP does not work well since sub-category changes do not show up. Let me know if you need further clarification. -Tom Kelly (Talk) 21:54, 14 February 2007 (CST)

Hi Tom, yes, I think this is a good idea. Feel free to edit this page. It needs to be updated since we've turned off self-registration, anyway. --Larry Sanger 20:54, 2 March 2007 (CST)

In French ?

Is it possible to start articles in French ? (sorry, I don't speak English !). Marc 09:00, 28 March 2007 (CDT)

Not in the English project. After the project's Beta, you may lobby for a French Citizendium. Stephen Ewen 01:21, 29 March 2007 (CDT)

Trying to "be bold" in the "Be bold" section of this article

I'm trying to make my first edit by removing an errant hyphen in the "Be bold" section. "The fact that there are many highly-educated types here makes some people afraid to touch the wiki, period." should not have a hyphen after "highly" -- it's just an ordinary adverb construction that does not take a hyphen. But I'm unable to do so because when I go to "edit", I find this entire section is essentially blank -- unlike all the other sections. So I can't find any text to edit. Hayford Peirce 14:03, 11 May 2007 (CDT)

That's peculiar. Try just click the edit link at the top rather than for the section. Stephen Ewen 15:43, 11 May 2007 (CDT)
That's what I did. This is what I get:
xx Be b*ld! xx
{{be bold*}
For more on the use of the "talk page," xxCZ:How to get started as an author#How_to_collaborate_on_an_existing_article_.28and_how_to_use_talk_pages.29|see belowxx.
I've put in a couple of xx in order to keep links from activating.... Hayford Peirce 14:23, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

Plan for this page

On reconsideration, having one long narrative for an introduction seems like a bad idea. There still needs to be introductions for authors and for editors, but they should not attempt to explain everything. They should, instead, explain in a general way what's going on here, what their role is, and where to find more info. CZ:Getting Started will simply list and annotate the important "Getting Started" links, and have a very brief introduction. --Larry Sanger 11:22, 10 September 2007 (CDT)

It's easy

I put together a help video that shows me creating an account and added the link to this page. I'm not sure if it's prominent or pertinent enough to link to here. But if I do it here at least you know about it.

Jacob F. Roecker 11:39, 29 November 2007 (CST)

Can you provide a link? We can upload the vid. We just need to enable uploading for that. Stephen Ewen 13:21, 29 November 2007 (CST)

All the files are .swf I hope this isn't a problem