As it stands, we seem to think that a couple things are bad:
Wikis that do not benefit a community at large (clarify)
Wikis for individuals ("personal wiki")
Copyrighted content. In general, things that aren't yours.
Flickr has some easy to read community guidelines
Please add your thoughts here!
Are Community Guidelines for only creating a new wikispot wiki's? Should these do's and don'ts apply to things like etiquette vandalism, etc.. Are we trying to establish a set of policies and guidelines? Perhaps something like http://printwiki.org/PrintWiki —MichaelWoods
I think we should emphasize purpose here. Etiquette can differ between wikis, too. We can make a separate page for common wiki etiquette.
Links can be very useful. Do you mean some sort of google-bombtastic spam wiki? Is it the commercialization that would bother you about this type of wiki? Should we bar wikis set up for purely commercial gain?
Yes. If there is to be a commercial gain, then they ought to use their own hosting and wiki solution unless, possibly, they offer compensation — but that could run afoul with non-profit status and taxes. As for businesses trying to capitalize on an already available local wiki, that's what editors are for (and I've already had to deal with that before moving chicowiki over). Granted, they may well stealthily (and IMO, therefore properly) write about themselves. There's no stopping that when done right. — RyanMikulovsky
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2007-05-12 21:27:51 I think we should change "Do not create a wiki for just yourself" to "Do not create a wiki with no intended community." Then we could write:
We are here to help communities of people collaborate and share knowledge. Creating a wiki for just personal usage, or creating any other wiki with no intended community, is an unwelcome drain on our resources and goals. —PhilipNeustrom
Because there were no objections, I've added this change.
2007-05-12 22:20:32 I wonder if the wiki creation process could include a text box entitled "What is this wiki for:" that would be included on a page like "Purpose". That way there would be less question about the intent behind some of the new wikis that don't yet have enough content to make clear their purpose. If the text box is not filled in the form should prompt the user to put some content there. —JasonAller
2007-05-14 14:47:25 I know I've seen this kind of thing addressed in Library public room usage guidelines. Are there similar "public resources for community use only" whose already existant (and likely time tested) guidelines we can use as a starting concept? Parks, libraries, meeting rooms in town halls, church facilities, some scouting facilities... who out there already has the same general "we want to help foster open community groups that aren't directly commercial" policies? —JabberWokky
Edit: Zipping through, here are some good clear guidelines (many are legalese or twisted in wording... these strike me as the more clear and simple ones):
which has "Limited membership groups – groups that impose membership requirements – are not normally permitted to reserve space. Some exceptions are granted on a case-by-case basis under Library and Parks and Recreation policy", which is one to ponder. Personally I can think of plenty of groups (usually devoted to specific ages or to abuse or recovery issues) that are limited membership for benevolent reasons. Senior groups, children groups, recovery groups, etc.
Civic or community groups providing programs, services, or activities which benefit the community
Non-profit and charitable organizations
Other public events (Are singular events which have a given time which will pass okay? I'd think open events would make sense (WEF, etc))
2007-05-14 14:50:51 One interesting concept through all the ones I'm reading is "keeping the facilities clean", possibly equatable to a "you must keep your wiki generally usable rather than overrun with abuse and spam" clause? Just to make it clear? (I think Philip will say I'm overthinking things. :) ) —JabberWokky
2007-07-27 01:33:46 I think using the terms "nonprofit" and "non-commercial" relatively interchangeably is a point of confusion. They're not necessarily the same. Many nonprofit organizations routinely engage in commercial activities. The difference is, the nonprofit is committed to reinvesting its proceeds into serving its mission of community betterment, instead of paying it out as shareholder dividends. I'm trying to understand what distinction you're drawing because it would clarify (among other things) where churches fit into the WikiSpot guidelines. My church could use a wiki for internal communications and community-building, as well as collaborating on membership drives, fundraisers, and other routine business affairs. Like most churches, we're a nonprofit. Yet commercial activity is a necessary part of keeping the doors open and the community services available. Are such organizations eligible, or inappropriate? —220.127.116.11
Thanks for your well-said thoughts. Such usage is well within our principles, I think. The nomenclature here may need some fine-tuning — help out! I noticed that this page doesn't say anything about "non-profit" and instead uses the phrase "non-commercial." There was a confusion similar to yours when we used the word "non-proft." Organizations that were not non-profits (such as housing cooperatives) would have non-commercial usage that we'd be groovy with — a housing cooperative can be a traditional corporation, but use a wiki in a non-commercial/non-profit way. The driving idea is that such use is very clearly bettering a specific community, and it's easy to see that it's not being established for widespread profit. It's hard to put these thoughts into words, though, so we settled a bit on the word "noncommercial" as it seems to capture most of what we care about around here. We don't want to discourage legitimate community usage with any of our words, though.
You're right that the word commercial really just refers to commerce. The idea was that we didn't want to support usage that was commercial with the end-means being profit. If you can help us clarify this that'd be great!
Maybe we could say something like, "commerce that non-profit or other community groups engage in for sustainability purposes is okay?" —PhilipNeustrom
The RIAA is a non-profit. We do need to tighten up our requirements. As it stands, though, I think your church would be fine as long as you aren't affiliated with Scientology or some other such selfish endeavor masquerading as a religion. Go ahead and create a wiki. :) —WilliamLewis
2007-11-16 17:30:04 Could I create a wiki that would be restricted, by password access, to a particular community?
I'm thinking about a wiki for the classes that I teach. I often ask individual students to collect data on something, and then we analyze it as a class project.
The problem is that I end up having to collate all the individual data into an Excel file for hundreds of students, then repost it on my class website.
If students could log on to the wiki and post their own data, it would save me a lot of time. I could also use it for discussion purposes.
But, obviously, it would be bad if any bozo could come and maliciously modify our class data. I don't know why anyone would want to do that, but I have participated in a wiki before where many weeks of painstaking work was wiped out by some unknown person with a grudge.
Please let me know if you think this is an acceptable wiki community and whether password access is technologically feasible/reasonable. —Virginia
There is no way to currently set a password for a wiki, unless you want to create an account with permission to read/edit things and give that account out to everyone who needs to read/edit the wiki. This creates a problem because you can't tell who is doing what. What you could do instead is create a group that has permission to use the wiki and add the accounts of authorized users to the group. I or just about anyone else on the wiki spot hub can walk you through this process. However, I'm not sure that this is even necessary. You're worried about some random person messing up your data. You don't need to restrict the ability to read and edit your wiki to do this. All previous versions of a page are saved and it is quite easy to see what has been changed by who at what time. It's also quite easy to undo these changes. Check out this page to see what I'm talking about.
As for acceptability of your community, I don't see a problem. We prefer our communities to be open, but we have no rule stating that. We currently have quite a few communities on wikispot that are closed. —WilliamLewis
As an example, you can create a new user account called "student" and give everyone the login for the account. Then you can make it so that account is in the "can read and edit" group for your wiki. Again, this means you can't tell who's added what. Best may be to have every student come and create an account, and then add their login name to the "can read and edit" group you create. You could ask the students to add their login name (in the upper right hand corner when they are logged in) to a "sign up" page — this would give them experience adding to the wiki, too. Does that make sense?
William is trying to say that our editing-security system is geared for restricting based on groups of accounts. —PhilipNeustrom
2007-11-16 17:36:10 Or (following on previous question) would it just be better to create a wiki, but not advertise it to anyone but my class? —Virginia
2007-11-26 00:21:54 I have been asked to help a company create a wiki that will offer support to QuickBooks users- which has the largest user base of a business/accounting software. The company's primary business activity is QuickBooks training and seminars, but this wiki would be specifically directed at providing the QuickBooks community with practical info and tips. The company is going to initially stock the wiki with its own materials (which are in use by hundreds of tech schools and colleges), which would then be editable or users could add to it. It would be linked to from their website and would ideally be served from their servers.
Is this okay as far as wikispot guidelines? It's right on the line from my view, so I wanted to check with all of you. If this was done properly, it would certainly still benefit the company because they provide training, etc- but it would also serve a greater good for the millions in the US who use QB. —imobannon
2008-01-19 16:51:36 I would like to create a wiki for a small community, that is my book club of 16 ladies. Is this a good place to get that started? We would like our wiki to be password protected. Please let me know. —18.104.22.168
We'd be happy to help you folks! You can set up permissions on your wiki so that only your group of 16 people can view it — just make a new user group, enter the usernames of the people you want in it, then allow only that group to view the wiki. —PhilipNeustrom
2008-02-02 06:37:38 I would like to create a wiki about and for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community called LGBTSource. I'm pretty sure that I have an intended community. It wouldn't be like the LGBT community in San Francisco or another city with a large LGBT community. It would be for the LGBT community all over the world. It would be like a LGBT version of Wikipedia.
I have a wiki over at Wikidot, but I'm really restricted in creating it. The site is more geared to Polish wikis and speakers as it is based in Poland. As a consequence, I'm restricted in attracting those who want to help the wiki out. I am also restricted in what articles can I make because of the Polish laws. The wiki won't have articles or images that are there for obscene purposes. Again, it would be like a LGBT version Wikipedia.
Thanks for all responses. —JamesRyan
Your idea definitely fits within our Community Guidelines and we'd be happy to help your community! Wiki Spot is operated from the State of California in the United States, and so we are bound to those laws. Note that we have no "indecency" guidelines — we trust that people will know best how to govern their own communities. If you have any questions or need help with anything, the FAQ and Community Discussion pages are probably good places to swing by. —PhilipNeustrom
2008-03-19 18:53:23 We should add a section on "Can I create a private wiki?" that clarifies things. As long as the wiki meets all the community guidelines, it shouldn't matter if it's private or not. We should say something about how we encourage public wikis and public participation, but realize that for some communities private wikis are sometimes necessary. —PhilipNeustrom
2008-04-23 19:10:45 We are a research group interviewing businesses. Is it appropriate here? —22.214.171.124
That seems fine as long as you're not gaining commercially from the wiki. A wiki about businesses is fine.
Hell, I don't know about all this nonsense. The target community is UofS Callers, and UofS Students in general. Breanna is a fellow caller, and while technically unsavy, she is ok with the project we have started. She would tell you that if she could figure out how to get here. ~Derek
2008-06-28 02:48:42 Does this community allow incontrovertible examples of fair use of a clipping from a copyrighted image in the context of criticism? For example, a wiki group critiquing the vague and dubious intangible and non physical superpowers of certain mutants in a certain comic book and movie series might see a need to show individual images depicting the glow around a characters hand with strange dots in it, to compare to another character who shoots rays out of his eyes, and to debate which of these is less tangible, and whether these are ill defined plot devices, which equate to omnipotence, or deus ex machina, thus sabotaging the conflict based structure of the comic book drama.
If the entire comic or even entire pages were not allowed, but individual clipped sections of images or pages would be, would that violate your terms, and if so does anyone know of any wiki community which allows non commercial fair use of small excerpts of copyrighted works in the strict context of criticism, as an example of fair use? —126.96.36.199
If it's legal in Northern California, it's legal on the servers (as that's where they reside). If it meets the community guidelines (it serves a community), I don't think anybody has a problem with it. After that, it's up to the local wiki itself to determine their own community guidelines. Are you asking if you can do things that are perfectly legal? The answer is yes. —Evan 'JabberWokky' Edwards
2008-09-17 00:10:09 I want to establish a wiki for the members of our Homeowner's Association to post comments regarding the services they are (or are not) receiving from their Board and Management Company. Is this an acceptable use of resources? —188.8.131.52
Yeah, this sounds totally fine.
2009-02-02 15:48:29 I think it's too bad that when we want to create a community and recommend commercial sites because we actually support them and their services that it's considered "commercial advertising". —184.108.40.206
Which wiki are you referring to? —JasonAller
There's a big difference between creating a wiki community whose individual members occasionally recommend commercial services, and a wiki created in order to recommend commercial sites. (Advertising on this wiki, the wikispot hub wiki, is essentially prohibited though). —BrentLaabs
2009-02-12 03:48:08 I am new to the Davis Wiki and am a bit confused about the "not for commercial gain" point of the wiki. Pretty much all the businesses in Davis are listed here...so can I list my own business (especially considering there is a lack of listings available to Davis-ites in this area) and encourage people to comment, etc on it? Or should I erase my page? Thank you for your helpful and welcome comments. —Raechel
2009-06-04 02:16:07 I am interning for a non-profit trade office, promoting US agricultural products in Taiwan. I want to create a wiki to help my co-workers organize and share what they know about all the different events we do and people we meet, and to help share information between our cooperators and the local business community. We are not promoting the products of any specific company, just US products in general, and we do not receive any financial compensation for any of our efforts.
I came to wiki spot because I can set up the wiki here without asking for funding and waiting around, and because the ease of use will let my co-workers (not so technologically inclined) use it. I'm just wondering where our activities fall in the commercial/non-profit range. Would everyone be OK with my putting up a wiki here? Any suggestions for where I should put it? —220.127.116.11
Yeah, that sounds totally fine / great! —PhilipNeustrom
Also, keep in mind that if you ever need some technical help or have any questions whatsoever, there are plenty of people to help you out, so just ask. Welcome to Wiki Spot! —Evan 'JabberWokky' Edwards
2009-08-06 07:52:29 New Rule Proposal: Do seek to educate your community about your topic Whether it's culture, science, art, or esoteric, your wiki should serve to inform and teach both visitors and editors. —BrentLaabs
I think we have to hammer this down a bit and use the actual IRS language if possible.
I disagree completely — we're trying to communicate to the general public, not to the IRS. Not to say that the current form is perfect, or even good.
Okay, well in the IRS response I noted that the community guidelines are written for laymen and thus don't reference exact definitions. Hopefully this will fly.
I agree with both of you — Brent's right in that this is general public presentation, and you're right in that this should be formally defined as being informal (if that makes sense). It's been officially defined as a guideline for the public rather than a TOS document, so I don't think the wording needs to be legal in nature, just clearly show the intent. Also, I'm pretty sure that should be "esoterica", not "esoteric" to match the list (meaning information of a specialized nature).
2010-06-08 02:26:44 This site is no spam. It is purely for giving information to the general public about the company. Please let me know of how I can publish this content. Would be awaiting your reply —18.104.22.168
Which wiki are you talking about? Also, what community would your site serve? —WilliamLewis
2010-08-02 18:29:54 I am attempting to create a "Market Research" wiki, for market research peers, bloggers, researchers, etc. to add relevant content/news/events via this wiki. Currently still trying to improve on this page, any suggestions for improvement welcome. —ChristineGomez
"2010-09-09" I'm looking for a place to create team based projects for my schooling. I was thinking that a wiki would be a great collaborative tool. and since we are all students in the IT department doing a wiki would be cool. Our school Univ of Phoenix has a learning team component in every class. Right now, for me it is technical writing and our team has to do a new user manual. so i was looking for a good place to do this. The reason I am asking about this is that the subject matter is sort of particular and not necessarily of value to the world at large. It is more about group endeavor than content, although the content will be judged and graded. In this i do not want to insult your community by using your services as a mere training platform. It can be hoped that we as users will appreciate your service more and as we grow in our abilities join your community to share information not merely take advantage of the tools you offer. How does that sound? —PeterWalker
2010-11-12 01:03:23 We are considering creating a wiki to coordinate the efforts of farmers markets. Those markets do provide commercial gain for the farmers who bring their goods to sell, but they also provide local, healthy food for the communities we support. We'd like to coordinate the efforts of the dozen or so markets in our county so more people can enjoy the healthful food we provide. Not sure if this fits within the community guidelines... —22.214.171.124
Absolutely! Think of it this way: if your motive is non-commercial, you're okay. Members of the community might be commercial, but your motive is to help farmers markets flourish. Sort of like how many farmers markets are non-profit entities, even if the vendors are certainly profit oriented. Best of luck, and if you have any questions or need help getting started, just ask. The initial setup of a wiki can be confusing at first, but once it starts, it's very very easy. —Evan 'JabberWokky' Edwards, firstname.lastname@example.org
2011-08-06 20:01:42 We would like to create a wiki for a casual, community based, professional organization to share info on resources and recommend vendors. These entries would be posted by our members not by the vendors themselves as an advertisement. This counts as "community" and "educational", right? —126.96.36.199
2012-09-14 20:23:01 I had a wiki, but it was closed, but I think I was using a different site...anyway, the wiki was highly NSFW, but I guess all was legal. It was called Adult fanon Wiki, and I know that a community exists for that stuff. But i couldn't find anything dealing specifically with my query...only child porn. So, is it OK to make another? —188.8.131.52
2012-10-04 02:01:28 I am part of a group of people who role-played together in college, but are now scattered geographically. I'm looking for some way other than skype for the group to work together to organize and expand a setting and world that we've been creating collaboratively for several years now. It's based on a copyright system, and content would mention things about the characters (classes, other stat related info, etc), from that system, but most of our content is original material in terms of characters and a lot of the setting. Would this could as an acceptable use? Could we restrict it to only members of our group? —184.108.40.206
2013-03-19 11:34:35 Can I create a wiki based on a mythos I am currently creating and writing a book on? Or is this too narrow a view for creating a wiki? —LostinEgypt
2013-05-13 23:27:59 Hi, I work for a small non-profit and I would like to create a wiki for our volunteers and the residents we serve. We do home energy efficiency upgrades. We do not charge for these. It would be useful to have a wiki that focuses on local hardware stores and what they have available for saving energy. The idea would be to have our program community update each other on new options or sales. Do you think this would be appropriate or would this be seen as a form of promotion? —Thanks Lisadorn —220.127.116.11
2013-06-22 19:57:55 Can I create a wiki for a indie project that has no fanbase *YET*? Like, can me and my friend use Wikispot to help organize ideas? —18.104.22.168