User:Jbparker/Sandbox 1 Projects

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Many people have a specific area of interest -- a subject or locality or a mixture of the two. It is possible to establish a project to develop Wiki content for such an interest. The following is an attempt to summarize the steps I would suggest for how to proceed to do so, based upon my experience with the Indians of North America Project.

Define the Scope of the Project

At first, you may be the only one working on the project. Even if that is the case, you need to define what you hope to accomplish, how it will help others with their research, what is needed, and how you plan to proceed.

Create the blueprint

Establish the Types of Pages Needed

Determine what kinds of pages are needed to meet the needs defined in the Scope of the Project.

Lay the footings and foundation

Define the Headings on the Types of Pages

All pages need headings to break up the monotony of reading straight text. Consider what headings are needed, what images would create interest in the subject or would help instruct, and what elements of fact should be included under each heading. Add subheadings, as needed.

Create a "materials" list

Create the Stub Articles, with Headings in Place

Establish the basic framework for the kinds of pages needed so you and others working on the project will have a place to add your knowledge in an organized way.

Frame up the building

Build a Prototype of Each Kind of Page

Even if you are the only one working on a project, you need a prototype of each kind of page you can refer to, to remind you what you want to accomplish. Choose at least one of each kind of page and develop it as an example of what you think a "mature" page of each kind should look like. As you do so, you may find new headings or content which needs to be added.

Prototype pages become even more important as others join in the project.

Build a finished "show" home

Find Others to Work On the Project

Consider friends and associates who may have a similar interest in the subject of the project and invite them to participate. Some potential sources of helpers include:

  • People who may have contributed Wiki articles on the subject or locality
  • Those who are already volunteering their time to family history pursuits -- genealogical or historical society members, writers, volunteers at libraries or family history centers, speakers at local or national conferences, etc.
  • Individuals who may not be experts in the field of knowledge for the project, but who have specific skills needed -- those who can search out and upload images, those skilled in internet searches, etc.

Locate other "builders" and "sub-contractors"

Mentor and Encourage Project Team Members

Establish a discussion group on Skype, Facebook, or some other social networking program where questions may be posted and discussions held.

Establish a way to hold training sessions for team members.

  • An interactive audio-visual online meeting is best
  • Some training can be done through group emails
  • Some training can be done through the Project page on the Wiki itself

Express appreciation for team members sincerely and often.