How to contribute to Appropedia

Our partners, Engineers Without Borders Australia, put us in touch with RDIC, a development organization doing great work with water filters and other development projects in Cambodia.

They asked about contributing to Appropedia, and I responded… then realized that the response would apply to any such organization. So here it is:

Don’t worry too much about processes and protocols – please add what you like to Appropedia. [Note that they are a reputable organization, and was sure that “what you like” would not include irresponsible and unscientific content such as water powered cars or curing malaria by fasting.] I’ve made some notes for you, which you have the option of reading, if you find them helpful.

The main issues are:

  • Appropedia is solution-oriented, not activist or political. (Discussion of policy is fine, but we seek to be apolitical. Promotion the use of sustainable and appropriate solutions is fine, but the main focus is on the solutions themselves.)
  • Share anything as long as you are willing to let other people use it as they wish. We use an open license, allowing any use including commercial, without additional approval, as this is the most effective way to ensure the information is used.
  • Share about your information, but please share more: consider sharing designs, solutions that have worked for you, checklists that workers use in the field, project write-ups, how-tos, and/or successes as well as failures.  Don’t limit yourself – if it’s useful to you, it’s probably useful to someone in Thailand, and Uganda, and quite likely parts of Australia as well.
  • You don’t have to login, but it’s nicer if you do. Also, register your email under preferences,  and choose “E-mail me when my user talk page is changed” – this helps people get in touch with you. Connecting with like-minded people is a great benefit here.
  • There’s a format bar above the edit box – play with it, but don’t worry too much.
  • Errors are easily reverted – so be bold!

You asked how to start a new page – see Help:Creating a page for simple instructions.

Turning deletion into a good faith process

I’d like to explore the idea of turning deletion into a good faith process – I’ve made a few notes in my Wikipedia userspace already. I thought I’d flag this now before I do serious work on it, in case I’m reinventing the wheel.

Inspired by SJ Klein of OLPC.

I should add – the Appropedia community has been much more good-faith than my experience of Wikipedia. But then, Appropedia is still a fraction of the size of Wikipedia. Maintaining a civil community as we grow will be a challenge, but a critical one. We’ll be paying very close attention to large yet supportive communities such as wikiHow.