CZ Talk:Topic Informant Workgroup

From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is the Discussion Page for the CZ:Topic Informant Workgroup

Clarification on self-promotion policy

I asked the following on CZ_Talk:Policy_on_Self-Promotion, and it was suggested that I ask here.

I am thinking of writing an article on the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), which is run by a substantially different group of people each year. The entity behind Worldcon is the World Science Fiction Society, whose membership is defined as the members of the next Worldcon (or current one when one is in progress).

I'm on the staff of this year's Worldcon. This definitely rules out writing an article about this specific convention. Should it bar me from ever writing something on the general history of Worldcon? I feel that it should not, but would like to get confirmation.

At the 2005 Worldcon, I was a participant in one program item out of hundreds. Does that mean I also can't write anything specific about that convention? I don't feel this is "closely associated", but again, I'd like to get a ruling. Petréa Mitchell 10:52, 28 April 2007 (CDT)

Adjunct question: How close is a "close association"? Does this policy preclude our writing about any group which we're a member of? I suspect that will be problematic for many of us; in my case it rules out a number of associations. Can I not write about Phi Alpha Theta, or the Royal Agricultural Society, e.g.?
Perhaps we could have guidelines, such as excluding non-profits from this prohibition, or entities one was not a founder of.
It seems as though only students and faculty of educational institutions are exempted from this policy at present. Can we not include alumni and former faculty?
We have at least one CZ editor who's a highly qualified Boy Scout who presumably will be writing and editing about Scouting. This makes good sense to me: in reality, we're all out to share about...promote, if you will...subjects that we're interested in, and that ususually means subjects with which we are associated.
Some clarifications would be appreciated.
Aleta Curry 17:41, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

Here's my opinion:

  • Unlike a university or the boys scouts this group is more of a hobbyist group. Some hobbyist groups, like the American Kennel Club are certainly of great interest and are appropriate subjects for articles. However, even so, individual AKC's shows are not appropriate entries because the kennel club world cannot be maintained on Citizendium in that kind of detail for the parallel groups, even if there were AKC people interested in devoting this effort to the AKC. (There are not, to my knowlege-this is a hypothetical example).
  • I know nothing about Worldcon, but if it has a long enough history and has been influential in science fiction, then I see no reason why there should not be an entry - meaning ONE article that discusses the organization and its history, along with that of the World Science Fiction Society. Now, if really developed, I'm not saying that there could not be more than one article-but an article, I should think, is the starting point. Like there might be an article on Boy Scouts (rather than each meda)l- but there might eventually be a Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts set of articles, if done well.
  • An article on each of the annual conventions is not -in my mind- something that is maintainable by Citizendium any more than entries on each dog show or each individual national convention of a medical society would be.(I love science fiction, by the way, and please understand this is the principle rather than the topic that I'm trying to address). So, there is no reason that-if done without self promotion, an article cannot be written on the group as a whole, the series of conventions. Why not? Why shouldn't you be able to write it? You certainly should be able to do so.What couldn't you do? Well, pretend that the X-club president writes an article on the X-club. If this club is something this person just started and its self-promotional by definition, and so it could not be written. If its a well established club -been around for fifty years- had influence in various ways, it could be written, and it could be written by the club president- but not if it extolls the club president's contribution to the club, and not if it lists the club president'scommercial website as an external reference.
  • I do not believe this question is actually suitable for the topic informant workgroup as it does not (or should not) involve the biography of a living individual.
  • There is no exemption from self promotion by University people. All articles must be neutral - not promotional in nature, and a neutral article can be written by an individual who is associated by the organization. For example, an article on dog shows could be written by individuals who are judges at various kennel clubs. An article on the National Institutes of Health could be written by a grant recipient of the National Institutes of Health.
  • No article is acceptable that is a "fan" write-up extolling the virtues of any event or organization, so there is no reason that I can see that you cannot properly write a neutral article on the overall topic of Worldcon and have it fly here. If there is bias or selfpromotion in it, then it will not fly.

My 2 bucks. Nancy Sculerati 18:15, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for replying. Worldcon is indeed an important component of both the science fiction publishing industry and fandom-- the whole question of writing an article about it came about because I am planning to write some articles which would reference it, and wanted to fill it in too. I fully intend to keep it neutral and informative rather than promotional.
I agree that there aren't likely to be articles on individual Worldcons anytime soon, but I thought it would be useful to bring it up as an example to clarify things for people involved in one-off conferences.
According to CZ:The_Big_Cleanup, an article is supposed to be in this workgroup if it's "a biography of a living person, profile of a company, group, etc.--essentially, any article that concerns an existing nonpolitical entity with legal interests." I would not put an article on Worldcon itself in that category, but I certainly would the accompanying article on the World Science Fiction Society. Petréa Mitchell 21:07, 3 May 2007 (CDT)

Rude automated reply to published TI e-mail address

The TI workgroup's own page contains this line:

Workgroup mailing list: (you can use this address to alert the Topic Informant Workgroup to a concern)

OK, so I sent a simple e-mail to this address to notify the TI workgroup about a new article about a living person that was not yet marked "TI Workgroup" in any way. And in response I got a very rude automated e-mail informing me that I was "not allowed" to send mail to this address and that my mail had been "automatically rejected."

Well, excu-u-u-u-u-u-se me!

If you don't want people sending mail to that address, please don't publish that address. Or, if you must publish it and then not read mail sent to it while having a bot "automatically reject" such mail, couldn't you please at least temper the language of the automated reply so that it doesn't insult people who are just trying to help?

Sheesh. Bruce M.Tindall 21:57, 17 April 2008 (CDT)

Sigh, the message is probably generated by the mailing list manager software, and we may not have control over it. The list should not be closed to non-subcribers, though. (Although perhaps we need to slightly obfuscate the email address here, to prevent web-walkers from 'harvesting' it. J. Noel Chiappa 23:48, 17 April 2008 (CDT)