Michael Mace michaelcmace@gmail.com
Mon, 20 Jan 2014 21:09:49 PST
Tim wrote:

>> At the risk of asking questions that were addressed before my enlistment,
How would Wikipedia control it? and Why aren't we doing it in Wikipedia?

First off, welcome! It's always great to have new members of our community,
and please don't ever hesitate to ask questions. 

I'm a member of our tiny little volunteer wiki team. Can't speak for the
rest of the team, but I'll give you my perspective, and I'm sure the others
will chime in if I misstate anything.

You asked a couple of questions. Let me answer the second one first: we're
not doing our stuff through Wikipedia because they allow only information
that has been published elsewhere. If you can't cite published sources
(preferably more than one), anything you post to it will be deleted. We had
quite a struggle just getting a basic listing for the PBS up there -- it was
challenged a couple of times, and we had to dredge through the web to find
enough citations to support the listing. It seems to have stabilized now,
but if we added any sort of private growing information to Wikipedia, the
admins there would spit it right back at us.

As for how Wikipedia manages this sort of thing, they have a ton of
automation, and a cadre of extremely active admins who police everything. We
have neither. So we spend a lot of time trying to balance openness to
contribution against our limited ability to provide support, and the fear of
being hit with more spam than we can manage. The wiki has been hacked in the
past, so we're very sensitive to that issue.

So, for example, we have been experimenting with very slowly adding comments
to some of the wiki pages. So far, so good, but we're moving very carefully.

Another experiment I've been participating in is using the wiki to store
information on the breeding programs of private hybridizers. I'm the guinea
pig on that one. I'm doing amateur breeding experiments with Moraea species,
and wanted to be sure those records wouldn't get lost. So PBS gave me
permission to post the records to the wiki. I've been pleased with the
results so far.

That experiment has been focused on a hybridization program. I don't know
how the PBS board would feel about storing other sorts of breeding records,
but technically it wouldn't be hard; files are files. I know collective
editing can be challenging to manage, but for starters I'd settle for just
preserving the records in PDF format so we could refer to them in the


San Jose, CA
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