Archive:Workgroup Weeks

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Hello! If you've navigated to this page, you found a reference to the Workgroup Weeks initiative somewhere and were curious what it is all about. Feel free to look around.

If you are curious whether the Workgroup Weeks initiative is ongoing, the short answer is no. We had one Workgroup Week in Biology, but have not had any since. For one, this initiative is fairly ambitious and large-scale for such a small community, and it was difficult to find people to do all of the things that needed to happen for our Biology Week. Secondly, it was difficult to attract the kind of collaborators we need. Although some new Biology contributors showed up, they were not in the numbers we had hoped for. (More introspection can be found at the Biology Week homepage.)

Does this mean Workgroup Weeks are gone forever? No. Once Citizendium is larger and more visible, we may revive the Workgroup Weeks initiative. Furthermore, if you would like to have a Workgroup Week for your favorite workgroup, and you are willing to do some of the work to make it happen, please be bold and do it!

What are Workgroup Weeks?

A Workgroup Week will promote a workgroup for a week: each week, we will be promoting and highlighting a different Citizendium workgroup. For example, we have started with "Biology Week," and hope to have "History Week," and "Music Week." There will be a major headline on the front page, and other internal and external publicity for the event. Leading up to each week, we'll be doing significant recruitment. This is similar in concept to the Write-a-Thons, but extends across the entire presence of a single discipline on the Internet.

What are the goals of Workgroup Weeks?

  1. To do massive, systematic recruitment for different workgroups, and thereby get them established on a firmer footing.
  2. To raise awareness of the Citizendium among the larger online and scholarly community.
  3. To write at least stubs for at least the core articles in a workgroup.

Why Workgroup Weeks?

Many people have been frustrated that, while the wiki as a whole has been fairly active, individual workgroups do not seem to be getting "critical mass." Another frustrating aspect of recruitment is that most people do not "stick around" to work on the wiki if they are not working with other people, and while we are growing, there are still many areas and topics on which one will find no collaborators.

We believe we can solve this problem through systematic recruitment.

Can we really succeed?

Yes. We can do this.

How do we prepare for a Workgroup Week?

Most of the organizational work for a Workgroup Week will probably be done before the week itself.

Leading up to a given workgroup week,

  • We canvass as many and as varied a group of mailing lists, blogs, etc., as possible, including of course CZ lists. We also contact the secretaries and chairs of all major research departments. We follow up each of these once if not twice. Push Eduzendium hard in these communications.
  • We do a press release focused at industry publications/blogs, in advance. We follow this up with reports to major mailing lists and blogs.
  • We broker endorsements and partnerships with major departments: put together Advisory Boards for each workgroup?
  • Recruit an Editorial Personnel Administrator for each workgroup.
  • Ask old editors to follow up with new editors personally.
  • Each workgroup needs something like a coordinator, secretary, or reporter--as informal and low-key as possible--as a key expert contact point. This person should be willing to put his or her name as a press contact.
  • We develop the workgroup's page brilliantly.

For details, see:

  • Preparation to do list (details what we will do leading up each Workgroup Week)
  • Generic sign-up page (a template to use to start planning for a Workgroup Week)

What do we do during the week itself?

During the week itself, we will:

  • Write and improve many articles in the workgroup!
  • Announce the week to Citizendium-L, Citizendium-Editors, the CZ blog, and the mailing list for the CZ workgroup (e.g., cz-anthropology), at the beginning of the week.
  • Do daily updates on the mailing list for the CZ workgroup, reporting what new articles have been started, what significant work was done, welcoming new arrivals "publicly," cheerleading, etc.
  • Announce the start of the week to the previously-canvassed mailing list(s), as well as Web forums, blogs, and "big" websites.
  • Do an end-of-week wrap-up e-mail.

How can I help with a Workgroup Week?

Excellent question! This initiative will not work without a lot of volunteers. Every little bit helps, so please join in! First, check if there is a sign-up page for your workgroup. Check here.

If there is already a sign-up page, sign up to do something (or several things!), and make sure you're subscribed to your workgroup's mailing list!

If there is no a sign-up page yet, make one! Be bold! Follow these instructions.

How should we choose what workgroups to launch in what order?

  • First, Larry makes the announcement of Workgroup Weeks and asks for people to sign up for particular workgroups (this is now done). He should make a second "reminder" announcement after a few days or a week.
  • We arrange the workgroups in the list of workgroups below in order of interest level. We should take into account how many volunteers there are for a workgroup, how motivated they are, and whether they are editors; we'd like to do a Workgroup Week with at least one active editor, who can help "meet and greet."
  • Once the volunteers have spoken up, we could convert the list into a table with a column designating the Workgroup Week dates.

E-Z sign-up

If you're interested in any aspect of this initiative, won't you please add your name below (at least)?

Workgroup sign-up pages

Here is a list of sign-up pages for particular workgroups. If you're interested in contributing to a particular Workgroup Week, like Engineering Week or Literature Week, you'll find a link to the sign-up page for the week below (if it exists). Otherwise, sign your name in the E-Z list above!

You can add a workgroup to the list below (alphabetically). Follow these instructions. Your help and initiative are needed!

Sign up sheet for general initiative tasks

These are tasks we would like to get done to support all of the various Workgroup Weeks we're planning.

To do (sign up sheet)
Task Description/explanation Person taking responsibility (add your name here)
Make workgroup week launch template Make a precise (yet flexible) plan that new contributors can follow. Larry Sanger
Write CZ:Why should experts join CZ? Since we'll be inviting a lot of new editors to join the project, we should beef up our explanation of why they should join us. This should be linked from the top of CZ:Why Citizendium? Noel Chiappa
Organize community pages See CZ:Sidebar Design for a list of CZ: namespace pages, with things I think need to be done to them. What must be done in preparation for a regular influx of new people (if anything)? Sign up...
Simplify Core Articles Initiative See CZ:Proposals/Simplify Core Articles Initiative Anthony Argyriou
Hammer out a template for workgroup homepages Basically, what features should a really good workgroup homepage have? There is a related proposal. Sign up...
Serve as Eduzendium point person We will want to push Eduzendium hard when we do our recruitment leading up to a Workgroup Week. We need a person we can list as a contact person for professors interested in learning more about Eduzendium. Daniel Mietchen and whoever wants to pitch in
Write a letter requesting support/endorsement and an announcement among academics This letter will be sent to academic departments & organizations in advance of other recruiting, to collect "endorsements" or statements of support Larry Sanger, Anthony.Sebastian, and whoever wants to pitch in
Write a mailing list recruitment letter This letter will be adapted by various workgroups and sent to mailing lists and Web forums Larry Sanger and whoever wants to pitch in
Write a blog recruitment letter This letter will be adapted by various workgroups and sent to bloggers Larry Sanger and whoever wants to pitch in
Write the Workgroup Week press release This press release will be adapted for each different workgroup and sent to publications in the industry/field Larry Sanger and whoever wants to pitch in
Create generic sign-up lists for academic recruitment and for recruitment using mailing lists, forums, blogs, and "big" websites. Basically, these sign-up lists will create appropriate tables for tracking our work in using mailing lists, forums, etc., to recruit for various Workgroup Weeks. Larry Sanger and whoever wants to pitch in

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