Ship Spotting World is going online

26 06 2010

Yes, we’ve gained the server horsepower to add a new wiki for Ship Yacht and Boat fans everywhere.  We are loading under licence from Wikipedia, a selection of relevant articles to get the place started.

Drop by and see Ship Spotting World

Mediawiki and Categories

6 07 2007

How, tell me, how, can anyone design a category system that is free format?

Mediawiki allows catgeories to be set up totally freehand, which means that loops of categories within themselves can be set up.  But any fool knows that a category structure is a hierarchy.

What is in these people’s minds when they design this stuff?

Development of Community

17 03 2007

I should know this already.  Communities take time to build, and they need evangelists and builders.  Find two or three of these and the on-line community is assured.  In my heart I knew it.  I think I’m just impatiently wondering when it will happen; after all, we’re over a month old!

What I didn’t realise is that there would be resistance  to the project.  In truth that should not have surprised me at all, but my enthusiasm was larger than my realisation.  Wikis can be terrifying, and I think we have one or two people terrified and one who started preaching against.

I find wikis easy, but maybe that’s because I’ve been playing on Wikipedia for a fair while.  Anything we’re used to comes naturally once we’re used to it.  Driving a car was really hard until it wasn’t hard any more.

I also find it very easy to adopt a new resource.  if it’s useful,  I’ll have it.  I’m not hugely conservative, you see.  I look for value, and I use that value.  But not everyone is like me.  Rail and Plane fans are no exception to being “not like me” – they are just ordinary folk with a special interest and enthusiasm.  Some have spent years building up the most amazing collections of photographs and spotting reports and stories on their own websites, and some of those see us as an intrusion.

So I’m using this blog as an apology to them, because intrusion never was and never will be our intention.  We’re not competitive and we’re not competition.  We’re very much like a public noticeboard:  You can pin things on it, you can read things, or you can walk by without caring.  If enough useful things appear on the noticeboard you’ll stop and read, but you may never, ever pin up a notice of your own.

All we are is an asset for fan communities worldwide.  We’re as useful as people make us, as authoritative as people make us, and as fun as people make us.